Issue 404 | 14 November 2019
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The 11th BRICS Summit is being hosted by the Federative Republic of Brazil, led by President Jair Messias Bolsonaro as the 2019 BRICS Chair. The summit is convened under the theme “BRICS: Economic Growth for an Innovative Future”.
  President Cyril Ramaphosa is leading a South Africa delegation to the 11th BRICS Summit, being held in Brasilia, Brazil, from 13 to 14 November 2019.

BRICS is the association of the five major emerging countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which together represent about 42% of the global population, 23% of gross domestic product, 30% of world territory and 18% of global trade.

Brazil’s priorities for its 2019 BRICS Chairship were innovation, fighting transnational crime, health and promoting trade and investment, with a focus on infrastructure development and possible public-private partnerships.

The summit was preceded by the BRICS Business Forum, where President Ramaphosa and other BRICS leaders interacted with the BRICS Business Council to strengthen dialogue between the BRICS Business Council and BRICS leaders promote economic, trade, business and investment ties among BRICS members.
South Africa’s membership of BRICS enables the country to employ additional and powerful tools in its fight to address the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality through increased trade, investment, tourism, capacity-building, skills and technology transfers.

These objectives are further realised through BRICS’ financial institutions like the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Africa Regional Centre (ARC).

The Johannesburg-based ARC is playing a catalytic role in providing financial and project preparation support for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in South Africa and Africa.

At an institutional development level, South Africa derives crucial benefits through Track II institutions such as the BRICS Business Council and the BRICS Think-Tank Council, as well as the creation of the BRICS Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism.
  In 2016, the BRICS STI (Science, Technology & Innovation) funding mechanism and framework programme were established to support capacity-building, as well as skills and technology transfer.

The objective of President Ramaphosa’s engagement in the BRICS Summit is to contribute to the future direction of BRICS, strengthen intra-BRICS relations and mutually beneficial cooperation across the four pillars of cooperation, particularly in intra-BRICS trade and investment, as well as ensure the ongoing implementation of the outcomes of the 10th BRICS Summit hosted in South Africa in 2018.

The summit welcomes the adoption of the Terms of Reference and Work Plan for the Advisory Group on the BRICS Partnership on the New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR), which is in line with South Africa’s theme of its BRICS Chairship in 2018: “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.
Benefits for Africa

South Africa has made concerted efforts to place the African continent and the Global South on the agenda of BRICS and to harmonise policies adopted at regional and international fora with those pursued in BRICS, namely Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The exponential institutional development of BRICS has yielded institutions, including the NDB and ARC and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, among others, all of which are intended to make tangible and meaningful contributions toward the development objectives of South Africa and BRICS. President Ramaphosa used the opportunity to highlight to BRICS partners South Africa’s priorities for chairing the African Union in 2020 and the commencement of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.

President Ramaphosa is accompanied by his spouse, Dr Tshepo Motsepe; International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor; Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni; Trade and Industry Minister, Ebrahim Patel; Health Minister, Dr Zwelini Mkhize: and State Security Minister, Ayanda Dlodlo. – Source:


It was a presidential start on Monday, 11 November 2019, to the African Development Bank’s (AFDB) Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Dignitaries and delegates from the continent and around the world gathered to listen to Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario of Mozambique.

They engaged in a discussion titled: Invest in Africa’s Space: Conversation with African Heads of State, moderated by Dr. Victor Oladokun, AFDB Group Director of External Relations and Communications.

The message from all was clear – Africa is better placed than ever for investment.

President Ramaphosa identified infrastructure, energy, manufacturing and tourism as the sectors where the most investment opportunities existed in South Africa. And as the tourism capital of the continent, the President claimed when God created Africa, he spent more time on the southern tip.

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagama had a positive message to share. “There has been a lot of progress and activities taking place on the continent, raising Africa to a higher level. I have always thought it was Africa’s time – but in the past we have let ourselves down.” He said his country had created a conducive investment environment through good governance systems and security, and according to the World Bank, it is the second-easiest African country with which to do business. Rwanda is focussing on three main areas – creating an agribusiness hub, the planned Kigali Innovation City and the Kigali Innovation Fund.

For Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area remains a priority. He said his government was working to strengthen the country’s macro-economy. “We’ve managed to turn around rising inflation, curbed debt, and maintained discipline in the managing of public finances. In just three years, our economy is expanding to become one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.” The country’s current priorities are infrastructure, agriculture and mineral resources.

Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario, representing the President of Mozambique, said his country had changed a lot. His government is open to investment, fighting corruption and has improved transparency. It has managed to control inflation, reducing it from 27% to 13%. The country has a youthful population, which is ready to work. Mozambique has many investment opportunities, particularly in oil and gas, agriculture and mineral resources.

There was a common theme among the leaders – continuing governance issues need to be addressed, such as political stability, security and conflict. President Kagama said many African states knew what needed to be done, which included improving accountability, transparency and trust, while promoting the role of women.

The Africa Investment Forum is an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace conceived by the AFDB, aimed at raising capital, advancing projects to the bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals.

The 2018 inaugural Africa Investment Forum secured investment interests for deals valued at $38.7 billion — in less than 72 hours.

The 2019 forum ran from 11 to 13 November in Johannesburg.

The has announced that the Africa Investment Forum netted 52 projects worth $41 billion in investment. The figure was a slight increase from that of last year’s inaugural forum.

A beaming Akinwumi Adesina, the AFDB President, said the development was a clear indication that Africa was fertile ground for investment.

“We’ve had an incredible event. We had 2 221 participants coming from 109 countries, 48 of those from the continent and 61 from outside Africa. Thanks for coming. You came and you discovered, you came and you were fulfilled. You came and you voted for investment in Africa. You came and voted for a continent brimming with investment. You voted for bankable projects and there were several of them”, said Adesina.
Last week’s investment summit resulted in R363 billion being committed to South Africa. Add this to the R300 billion in commitments secured at least year’s and the Government’s attempts to boost the rate of investment in the economy seem to be bearing fruit.
  This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who dedicated his weekly newsletter to the nation to the state of the economy and the successes of the investment conferences.

In April last year, he announced the State’s ambition to raise R1.2 trillion in new investment over five years.

“The total value of investment commitments made this year has vastly exceeded our expectations,” he said.

“Last year, we secured R300 billion in commitments towards our goal of R1.2 trillion. Already, these commitments are turning into investments in factories, equipment and new jobs. Of the amount announced last year, around R238 billion worth of projects have either been completed or are being implemented.”

But, he said the success of the investment conference was not only measured by the amounts pledged, but also by the difference these investments make in the lives of South Africans, particularly the poor and unemployed.
President Ramaphosa said that he expected that the investments announced last week would conservatively result in the creation of about 412 000 direct jobs and a significant number of indirect jobs.

But, he said, the most exciting development was the increase in the commitments from South African businesses. At last year’s conference, the total amount committed by local companies was about R157 billion. This amount climbed to R262 billion in 2019 and included projects in areas like auto manufacturing, mineral beneficiation, renewable energy, agro-processing and oil and gas.

“Local businesses are the vanguard of our investment drive, and the scale of commitments made shows they have truly stepped up to the challenge,” said President Ramaphosa.

“We are immensely encouraged that our home-grown businesses want to be part of not only economic growth but of advancing an inclusive economy.

“Many are multinational giants with extensive investment portfolios on the continent and beyond. There can be no stronger testament to the Proudly South African theme than these companies choosing to plough more capital into our economy.” – Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated President Filipe Nyusi of the Republic of Mozambique following his recent re-election. President Nyusi was declared winner of the general election held on 15 October 2019.
President Ramaphosa also congratulated the people of Mozambique for the manner in which they conducted themselves during the election process.

South Africa and Mozambique enjoy close political, economic, trade and people-to-people relations. The two countries also work closely together at regional, continental and global levels.

South Africa and Mozambique share strong historical and fraternal ties dating back to the time of the fight against colonialism and apartheid.

Mozambique is one of South Africa’s key trading partners.

President Ramaphosa said he looked forwards to working with President Nyusi as the two neighbouring countries look to create conditions for increased levels of domestic and foreign investment, aimed at economic growth, the reduction of inequality and the eradication of poverty.


President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on all South Africans to not only read the newly launched "25 Year Review" report, but critically engage with its content in a bid to craft the country’s next trajectory.
  The President said while the report allowed government the ability to interrogate the forces that impact on the lived reality of the 57 million people who live in the country, it also empowered government to be effective agents in molding the events of tomorrow.

The President made the remarks at the launch of the 25 Year Review report in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, on Friday, 8 November 2019.

The report reflects on the country’s liberation and achievements in the last 25 years.

Anchored on government’s key priorities such as poverty, unemployment and inequality, as espoused in the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030, the review examines the extent to which these priorities have been addressed.

In addition, the report highlights the unfinished business to be tackled by the current administration.
In terms of education, the report notes that the matric pass rate increased from 58% in 1994 to 78.2% in 2018.

“We have almost doubled the number of special schools for children with disabilities and special needs.

“Total university enrolment has also doubled, and now stands at over a million,” highlighted the President.

The report also notes that while there has been an increase of women in the judiciary, Parliament, legislature, Cabinet and in the Public Service, violence and gender-based crimes against women still persist.

Thanking the authors of the report, Department of Monitoring and Evaluation Director-General, Nompumelelo Mpofu, said the report was a culmination of 18 months of work and consultation with governmental and non-governmental organisations and stakeholders through various colloquiua with over 1 000 participants and over 350 organisations.

“It reflects on all areas of government and particularly examines what has been achieved where the challenges have been, pointing us very clearly to the direction for the next 25 years,” said Mpofu.

On health, the report shows that life expectancy has improved, while child and infant mortality rates have been significantly reduced.

Access to antiretroviral therapy in the public health sector grew from 45 500 patients in 2004 to over 4.7 million in 2019.

But while the 25 Year Review Report notes all the legal and policy instruments of redress in place, poverty and inequality still persist.

“This is largely the result of skewed ownership and participation patterns in our economy,” said President Ramaphosa.

In addition to this, President Ramaphosa also noted spatial planning as a thorn in the country’s efforts to address economic inequalities.

“Spatial planning is among the areas that still require urgent attention.

“Although three million houses have been provided to poor families, many of these are located far from economic opportunities and social services,” said the President.

With the report serving as an analytical review, the President called on South Africans to use it for robust debate and as a springboard for government’s renewed efforts to advance its national and international agenda. – Source:
The Automotive Hub is an outcome of the Investment Conference held in October 2018 where the automotive industry pledged investment, transformation and localisation in fulfillment of commitments in the Automotive Master Development Plan 2035.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on, Tuesday, 5 November 2019, officially launched the Tshwane Automotive Hub at the Ford Motor Company in Silverton, Pretoria.

The Tshwane Automotive hub is expected to help the country attract new automotive component manufacturers, while also strengthening the City of Tshwane’s positioning as an automotive city.

Ford SA will be the anchor tenant of the hub, crowding in new investments and localisation opportunities for component manufacturers. It is estimated that the hub has the potential to create more than 5 000 jobs once fully operational. It is also estimated that the hub will result in a number of new business opportunities to nearby communities such as Eesterust, Moretele View, Nellmapius and Mamelodi.

The automotive hub, which is part of the expansion of the OR Tambo International Airport Special Economic Zone (SEZ), will be developed through a joint partnership between the Department of Trade and Industry, Gauteng Provincial Government and the City of Tshwane.
SEZs are an initiative of the South African Government, aimed at repositioning the country in the world economy and have become global tools for social and economic transformation, resulting in exponential growth when deployed. The programme’s main focus is to attract foreign direct investment and grow exports of value-added commodities.



The regional consultations are to further mobilise for the full implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan in order to achieve long lasting peace, development and stability in South Sudan.

On 13 November 2019, Deputy President David Mabuza, in his capacity as Special Envoy to South Sudan, has today, departed to Entebbe, in the Republic of Uganda, ahead of his regional cosultations.

The Deputy President met with President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe, Uganda and President Abdalftah Alburhan A. Alrahman, President of the Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan in =Khartoum on 13 November 2019.

These engagements took place after the Tripartite Summit on the Revitalised Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, which was held in Entebbe on 7 November 2019.

Significant progress has been made towards the total resolution of conflict and bringing stability in South Sudan.

South Africa has been providing support to all efforts meant to enhance the complete implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on South Sudan in line with the responsibilities of the Special Envoy.
The visit coincided with the 25 years of diplomatic relations between South Africa and Vietnam, with relations dating back to the struggle days for freedom, democracy and social justice.
  On Tuesday, 5 November, 2019, Deputy President David Mabuza hosted a high-level delegation from Vietnam for bilateral talks aimed at strengthening political and economic relations between the two countries.

The Vietnamese delegation to the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse was led by Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.

The Presidency, in a statement, said the bilateral mechanisms between the two countries included the Inter-Governmental Partnership Forum for Economic, Trade, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation and the Joint Technical Committee, which served as a vehicle to review bilateral relations and identify priority areas for technical cooperation.

“South Africa views Vietnam as a strategic partner and one of the most dynamic economies in the East Asia region,” The Presidency said.
Vietnam is South Africa’s fifth-largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region. According to a Stats SA 2018 report, South Africa imported goods from Vietnam amounting to R6 billion and South Africa exported goods amounting to R2.5 billion.

In this regard, the Working Visit to South Africa provided a strategic platform to review progress achieved in the implementation of agreements signed previously between the two countries.

“Furthermore, the visit will further broaden opportunities to increase the levels of trade between the two countries and a platform to further remove barriers for trade expansion,” The Presidency said.

Next year, the two countries will be non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

While South Africa assumes the rotating Chairpersonship of the African Union, Vietnam will hold a similar position on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is a regional intergovernmental organisation comprising countries in Southeast Asia. – Source:
  The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, delivered a keynote address at the 15th Year Anniversary Gala Dinner of the Islamic Relief South Africa, on 8 November 2019.

The Islamic Relief South Africa is an international non-governmental organisation founded in South Africa in 2004.

Minister Pandor said that we needed to recognise the important role of civil-society organisations by offering them our support and helping them to grow into organisations that are able to determine adequate responses to the complex challenges of human security.

“In South Africa we are fortunate to have committed and capable non-governmental organisations that make vital contributions to human development. Advancing human security and addressing the full meaning of this concept requires us to organise interventions and forms of cooperation that take us beyond existing models.”
Minister in The Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, and Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, are leading a South African delegation to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) Summit, taking place in Nairobi, Kenya.  
Held under the theme “Accelerating the Promise”, the summit seeks to galvanise change and mobilise both political will and financial commitment to push forward the unfinished business of the ICPD Programme of Action, as well as build momentum for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

During the summit, which is taking place from 12 to 14 November 2019, the delegation is underscoring South Africa’s commitment to consolidate achievements on gender equality through the empowerment of women and girls across South Africa with initiatives that include preventing and addressing gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF), improving women’s economic security, expanding access to education and the rolling out of universal health coverage, amongst others.

The South African delegation includes government officials from the departments of Social Development; Health; International Relations and Cooperation; Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation; Basic Education; Statistics South Africa; and Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.
  The delegation also includes representatives from civil-society organisations and academia.

Together, the delegation is working to advance South Africa’s national position that is consistent with the human rights-based approach as articulated in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.

Minister Zulu and the delegation are hosting and participating in a number of side events and meetings during the summit.

This includes South Africa hosting a panel discussion on the National Development Plan, harnessing the demographic dividend, South-South cooperation, the National Health Insurance, integrated school health programme, life orientation curriculum, including sexuality and gender education in school. The delegation is also undertaking bilateral discussions with their regional and international counterparts and discuss possible areas of collaborations on population and development issues in the context of South-South cooperation.
The South African Government remains committed to ensure the full implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action and Sustainable Development Goals, both of which have been domesticated through the Population Policy and the National Development Plan (Vision 2030).

One of the most progressive outcomes of the ICPD Programme of Action is that it shifted the focus of population policy and programmes from human numbers to focus more on improving human lives and increasing respect for human rights.

The Programme of Action also recognises that reproductive health and rights, as well as women’s empowerment and gender equality, are the cornerstones of population and development programmes. – Source:
Government has launched the pilot phase of a new business portal, led by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
“[The portal] is a pioneering and innovative project for government e-services. It will improve the time and ease for young people to start new enterprises and sends a great signal two days before the SA Investment Conference,” said the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel.

The Biz Portal is a single integrated company registration platform in South Africa.

Through this platform, an entrepreneur will be able to register a business within a day in South Africa, a dramatic improvement on turnaround times of 40 days recorded by the World Bank 2020 Ease of Doing Business Report.

The public has been encouraged to test the new portal while it is been piloted over the next three months at

The digital platform is aimed at bringing together business-related services from various public entities within South Africa.

Through collaboration with the South African Revenue Services, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the Compensation Fund (CF), CIPC made it possible for applicants of private companies to obtain the following:
  • Company registration
  • Tax registration number
  • Domain name registration
  • Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Certificate
  • Compensation Fund registration
  • Unemployment Insurance Fund registration
  • Business Bank account.
The Minister said the Biz Portal entailed company registration functions that had already been tried and tested for several years within the CIPC’s E-services environment. This will also cater for options in terms of registering for UIF and CF reference numbers.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry, four major banks are participating on the platform.

“Depending on the nature of the agreement, the customer will be able to make a direct payment in relation to the registration services at the end of the transaction, be routed into a safe banking platform to apply for a business account or opt for their personal details to be passed on to a bank of their choice,” said the department.

In the pilot phase, the system is being tested and strengthened. The next phase of the Biz Portal will make provision for other services related to running and maintaining a business.

Identity authentication will be via the real-time Home Affairs Population Register and other sophisticated measures would serve as a necessary buffer to ensure integrity of the system.

“The applicants will also have an option to apply for a Domain Name and B-BBEE Certificate, thanks to the partnerships CIPC has with the Domain Name Authority, ZADNA and the dti, respectively.

“From a customers’ perspective, there is no need to visit multiple government institutions, saving them time and money. Such seamless registration services will enable entrepreneurs to focus on transforming innovative ideas into beneficial products and services, which will contribute to the creation of jobs in our country,” Minister Patel said. – Source:
Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has signed a waiver that allows foreign children to enter the country without carrying additional supporting documents such as birth certificates and consent letters.  
The waiver has been applicable since 8 November 2019 – after the Minister’s signature.

“This improvement in our admissions policy builds on the work the department has been doing to contribute to economic growth and investment.

“As of [8 November 2019], foreign children can enter and depart the country without being required to provide birth certificates, consent letters and other supporting documents relating to proof of parentage,” Minister Motsoaledi said.

The Department of Home Affairs has communicated the changes to immigration officials at all ports of entry and to the airline and maritime industries.

South African children are still required to provide supporting documents, in line with the requirements of the Children’s Act. The same applies to unaccompanied foreign children.

Foreign children who require a visa for South Africa do not need to carry the supporting documents for inspection at a port of entry since these would be processed together with their visa applications.

“It is significant that we have completed the policy changes in the week in which President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted the second Investment Conference.

“We anticipate that this change will have a positive impact on tourism as we approach the holiday season,” Minister Motsoaledi said. – Source:
South Africa, in collaboration with the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), is hosting a Diplomatic Conference to adopt an international treaty aimed at facilitating the financing of MAC equipment.
The Diplomatic Conference is being held at the OR Tambo Building of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation over a two-week period from 11 to 22 November 2019.

All member states of the United Nations have been invited to the Diplomatic Conference and delegates representing their governments as well as observer international organisations are attending the Diplomatic Conference.

By hosting this Diplomatic Conference, South Africa is building on its legacy when it hosted a very successful Diplomatic Conference that adopted the UNIDROIT Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town Convention) in 2001 which has, in addition to its Aircraft Protocol, become two of the most successful international commercial law treaties ever. The MAC Protocol will be the fourth protocol under the Cape Town Convention, and it was preceded by the aircraft, rail and space protocols.

The MAC Protocol will extend the international legal framework regulating security interests in certain types of high-value equipment. This is to improve access to credit for domestic industries of the parties that was established by the Cape Town Convention to the MAC, and related financing, manufacturing, exporting and importing industries with a much greater potential to make a positive economic impact on South Africa.

An independent economic assessment, commissioned by UNIDROIT, released in August 2018, indicates that the MAC Protocol holds great promise for countries eager to expand their MAC and related financing, leasing, importing and exporting sectors. Estimates of the global positive economic impact on gross domestic product point to US$30 billion per year.

The economic assessment points out that the MAC Protocol may increase the stock of MAC equipment in developing countries by US$90 billion over a 10-year period. If it is considered that the MAC Protocol uses asset-based financing principles and enables private-sector financing to be obtained without further government guarantees, and may make private-sector finance available in areas where the Government has been the only source of financing, it is clear that the MAC Protocol is not only attractive to the emerging and established miner, farmer or construction contractor, but also to governments who are hard-pressed to stay within budget.

The MAC Protocol can support the South African Government’s Medium Term Strategic Framework targets and the National Development Plan that focus on economic development, land reform, infrastructure investment, job creation and general economic growth. It will also be able to accelerate the African vision of continental free trade and economic development. 
  Google is pumping major investments into Africa, with its most noteworthy new ventures being the roll-out of free public Wi-Fi hotspots and a new high-speed undersea cable to boost Internet connectivity.
South Africa and Nigeria, the continent’s two biggest economies, are getting a significant share of the investment. Nigeria became the first country in Africa in February to see the roll-out of Google Station, the company’s ground-breaking initiative in developing nations aimed at providing fast, free and open Wi-Fi to disadvantaged communities.

Google Station has been launched in the Cape Flats area and other townships in Cape Town such as Langa, Khayelitsha and Gugulethu, with about 125 free public Wi-Fi hotspots in these locations.

The project was officially announced at the first-ever Google for South Africa event in Johannesburg on Thursday, 7 November 2019. Several other announcements and updates around Google’s innovations and investments in the education, consumer, technology start-up and Internet infrastructure spaces were highlighted.

Speaking at the event, Nitin Gajria, Google’s Africa Director, said he was “tremendously excited” about bringing Google Station to South Africa. He said the concept had been first piloted by Google in India in 2015 and is now in operation in several other developing countries such as Brazil and Mexico.

“Google Station has been hugely successful in India and earlier this year, Nigeria saw the concept’s first roll-out in Africa. We’ve quietly been piloting the programme in Cape Town’s most underserved communities for a couple of months and now we officially reveal this project to South Africa,” Gajria said.

“By gaining access to information via the Internet, we hope that people in these communities will get a more equal opportunity to learn and develop and live more empowered lives. Google Station is now available in over 100 locations across Langa, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Delft, Elsies River, Philippi and more in the Cape Flats. Besides being underserved, these areas have high unemployment and crime rates,” he adds.

“For us, this is an investment in the future of South Africa and the continent. We have numerous projects and partnerships across several countries in Africa and around the world,” he said. – Source:
As tributes continue to pour in for the late Poet of the People, Sandile Dikeni, government joins the nation in celebrating the life of this great South African.

Government is saddened by the untimely death of this former civil servant, who passed away on Sunday, 10 November 2019, after a battle with tuberculosis.

Dikeni was not just an anti-apartheid activist who used his talent to voice out the injustices of the old regime, he went on to make his presence felt in the media fraternity being arts editor at the Cape Times and political editor at This Day. He was a colleague to many in government and also played an instrumental role in the Government Communication and Information System’s  Content Development Directorate.

His passing is not only a loss to his family, friends and the media fraternity but the entire public.

Government extends its deepest condolences to his family and friends.
British Airways has unveiled the latest in a series of refurbished airport lounges, with a new single lounge facility at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International.
The former business and first-class lounges at the airport – which have been closed since May – have been converted into one space, with a new “dedicated boutique dining area for First customers”.

The 880-sqm lounge can accommodate up to 247 guests, and features a lobby bar, brasserie dining areas, a separate area with armchairs and banquette seating, and a business zone with workstations and power outlets.

The carrier said that lighting in the lounge “has been carefully planned by zone and dimmable to reflect the time of day”.

Hot and cold dining options include Cape Malay curry, fresh seasonal salads, mezze, local charcuterie and Indezi river cheeses, while First customers benefit from a pre-flight a la carte menu in the new dining area.
The lounge is open to customers travelling in Club World as well as Executive Club Gold and Silver cardholders and Oneworld, Emerald and Sapphire members.

British Airways is in the process of refurbishing several of its lounges with a new design concept the carrier recently unveiled its revamped San Francisco facility following a six-month renovation project, and has also rolled out the design at airports, including New York JFK, Rome Fiumicino, Aberdeen and Milan Linate. – Source: Business Traveller
South African comedian Trevor Noah has been awarded the prestigious Leadership in Democracy Award in the United States (US), an accolade that recognises those people or organisations – all around the world – who are “working for democracy and making democracy work” through innovative or non-traditional means.
The award is granted by the National Democracy Institute (NDI).

The NDI says the award honours “outside-of-the-box” leadership that reinforces a culture of democracy and promotes human rights.

Noah was chosen for his work, which includes hosting the Emmy® and Peabody® Award-winning The Daily Show.

The award was presented to Trevor by NDI Chairperson and former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, on 22 October at a gala dinner with over 460 guests, gathered to celebrate humour as a vital form of free speech. According to the NDI, comedy and satire “allow us to communicate pro-democracy messages. They build bridges to new audiences, such as the 18 to 35-year-old youth demographic”.
  In his acceptance speech, Trevor said: “The ability to laugh at a leader who doesn’t want to be laughed at is one of the core pillars of freedom. When you can laugh at somebody in power it reminds them that they, like you, are still a human being who is accountable to other human beings.”

Albright called Noah “one of the world’s most intelligent and incisive satirists … exploring the world’s injustices and follies with just the right combination of wit and wits.”

She said that democracy depended on “people who have the courage to speak up, join together and fight back injustice” and that Trevor Noah is one of those people.

At the end of the evening, Noah said: “Let us continue to fight for freedoms around the world, let us continue to uplift those who do not have voices, let us fight to be progressive, let us move marginalised voices forward using comedy, using any freedom of speech that we are allowed.”
The awards rewarded excellence in nine categories with one overall winner snapping up an all-expenses paid trip to Photokina 2020 in Cologne, Germany, and a Fujifilm X-H with battery grip and lens.
The inaugural Africa Photo Awards were recently held.

The non-profit competition is designed to showcase the best photography from the continent, and if the winning pictures are anything to go on, we have a lot of talent here in Africa.

Pretoria-based Hein Waschefort won the title of Photographer of the Year for his fine-art Salvador Dali-inspired photo “Where the Moon and Tusks Collide”. This surreal image was created by Waschefort combining several of his own photos of elephants, the moon, clouds and landscapes.

Other category winners include:
  • Wildlife winner: Elize Labuschagne
  • Conceptual winner: André Badenhorst
  • Fashion winner: Linda Orsmond
  • Wedding winner: Carlien Haywood
  • Portraiture winner: Thina Zibi
  • Abstract winner:  Elizabeth Cook
  • Land and Urban Scapes winner: Udo Kieslich. – Source:
Some 66 cities have been added to the UNESCO Creative Cities list, with the Overberg town of Hermanus making the list – the only African city to do so.
  UNESCO Creative Cities are recognised for being laboratories of ideas and innovative practices, and for bringing a tangible contribution to achieving Sustainable Development Goals through innovative thinking and action.

These cities champion sustainable development actions that directly benefit communities at an urban level. Of the 66 UNESCO Creative Cities, only 10 were recognised for Gastronomy, with Overstrand Hermanus becoming not only South Africa’s, but Africa’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy.

South Africa's coastal offerings are extensive and Hermanus in particular is an exceptional place.

University of the Western Cape lecturer Darryl David and the Director of the successful bid says; "This recognition is not only for Hermanus, but the entire Overstrand Municipality, which includes Hawston, Pringle Bay, Rooiels, Stanford, Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond".
David acknowledged there were many who gave much of their time and support for this bid, including the Mayor.

"I love Hermanus and believe it is one of the great little cities on the planet. I want people from around the world and in our own country to share in the beauty and the fine food and wine of this remarkable region”.

Carolyn Martin of Creation Wine, who had given David a crash course in Gastronomy in the run-up to the bid, says the gastronomy recognition is all about "celebrating our pristine environment and all the exceptional local produce in our area, which include and support so many dedicated people in our community".

"This includes our local fishermen, our cheesemakers and producers, our wine estates and winemakers, our wheat farmers and their organic flour mills, our livestock farmers for dairy and meat, our farmers of organic flowers and vegetables, and our charcuterie.

"And then we have our gelato producers, our beekeepers and honey shops, our local chefs and restauranteurs, our brewers, our artisans who produce specialities for The Hermanus Country market, our community garden and food projects, and the Grootbos Nature Reserve.

"The block chain effect of using local produce has a massive impact on our local economy in a positive and sustainable way."

Frieda Lloyd of Whale Coast Tourism, who was also instrumental in the bid, says "joining the UNESCO Creative Cities network has given the region a "centre of culinary excellence, sustainability and creativity".

Chef Shane Savage of La Pentola in Hermanus says the UNESCO nod was "recognition of our combined efforts and aspirations to be a world-class culinary destination”.  – Source:
South African comedian Trevor Noah performed at Madison Square Garden on Friday, 8 November, and has posted about the moment on his Facebook page.

On a day when South Africa was already buzzing after Sho Madjozi performed on The Kelly Clarkson Show and was surprised by John Cena (whom she titled a song after) and the Springboks went on a tour with their Rugby World Cup Trophy, Trevor's performance was the cherry on top.

The 35-year-old is currently on his Loud and Clear Tour and filming the popular television programme, The Daily Show.

Trevor's tour dates have spanned the United States and Europe as well as South Africa. – Source:
South Africa's Mpumelelo Mhlongo has broken his own world record in the 100m (T44 catergory) at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.
  Racing in the T64 event, Mhlongo earned a silver medal by coming home in second behind German Johannes Floors.

Mhlongo's time of 11.09 bettered his own previous world record in the T44 catergory, however.

Mhlongo was born with amniotic band syndrome, which resulted in a right leg shorter than his left as well as a club foot. Although doctors told his mother he would never walk, he took his first tentative steps at the age of six.

While Mhlongo excels in both the 100m and 200m events, he also takes part in the long and high jump.

Earlier, Sheryl James claimed bronze in the T37 400m event while on Sunday, 11 November 2019, Anrune Weyers claimed Team South Africa's first gold of the championship when she crossed the line first in the T47 400m race. – Source:



More Springboks have been added to the Barbarians squad ahead of their November matches.


It was last week announced that Rugby World Cup-winning quartet Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi and Herschel Jantjies would join the Barbarians as they prepare to face Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday, 16 November.

Jantjies subsequently withdrew and was replaced by another Bok scrumhalf, Jano Vermaak.

This week, flyhalf/fullback Curwin Bosch, centre Andre Esterhuizen, wing Dillyn Leyds and flank Marco van Staden, all members of the wider Springbok squad in 2019, have also been added to the invitation team.

They join former Bok flyhalf Morne Steyn and another two South Africans in former Scotland No 8 Josh Strauss and Sunwolves prop Hencus van Wyk.

The BaaBaas will also face Brazil in São Paolo (20 November) and Wales in Cardiff (30 November).

Barbarians squad:


Tendai Mtawarira, Rory Best, Enrique Pieretto, Luke Jones, Matt Philip, Pete Samu, Marco van Staden, Josh Strauss, Andrew Makalio, Campese Maafu, Hencus van Wyk, Tyler Ardron, Angus Cottrell


Makazole Mapimpi, Mathieu Bastareaud, Lukhanyo Am, Jano Vermaak, David Havili, Morne Steyn, Santiago Iglesias, Curwin Bosch, Billy Meakes, Bautista Ezcurra, Andre Esterhuizen, Joe Powell, Dillyn Leyds. – Source:
The GolfRSA Proteas continued South Africa’s success story on the international golfing stage (and with SA sport in general at the moment!) with a superb performance in the highly-rated Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship in Texas.
Martin Vorster from Southern Cape, Western Province’s Sam Simpson and Gauteng pair Zethu Myeki and Symone Henriques combined for an impressive ninth place finish in the Team Competition with a sublime final round effort at Whispering Pines Golf Club.

"Our GolfRSA Proteas are returning home with a successful haul of accolades," said proud South African Golf Association President, Naadir Agherdien.

"Martin and Sam won silver on 20-under in the Men’s Team Championship and Martin was the bronze medallist with 15 par-breakers in the Men’s Individual Championship. Sam was just an impressive, finishing ninth with 13 par-breakers."

Myeki and Henriques languished at the bottom of the log in the Women’s Team Competition after a dismal start, but the GolfRSA Elite Squad duo finished with a spirited fightback.

"Zethu fired six birdies in the final round to tie for 11th in the 36-player field of the Women’s Individual Championship. Symone made all the critical par-saves for the team, including the final hole, which they bogeyed in the first two rounds, and this lifted them to 16th overall," Agherdien said.
"It was a titanic comeback for the girls and the boys were leading the field for most of the round until Sweden matched them late in the day, and the United States overhauled them with two late birdies to win on 22-under."

The collective achievement of the GolfRSA Proteas in Texas extends the purple patch for South African amateur golf, which gained momentum with Jovan Rebula’s triumph in the 2018 Amateur Championship.

Vorster, who won the Junior Open and Reply Italian International Under-16 Championship last year, followed fellow Southern Cape golfer Christo Lamprecht into the winner’s circle at the 2019 East of Ireland Amateur Open, while 14-year- old Amilkar Bhana emulated Vorster’s success in Italy.

The country’s number one ranked Jayden Schaper became the first South African to lift the Junior Players Championship trophy and Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series finalist Tyran Snyders the first South African to win the Junior North and South Championship.

Another Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series finalist, Ryan van Velzen, captured the Triad Junior Amateur title on the Tarheel Tour.

The South Africa’s men and women junior teams continued their dominance in the All-Africa Junior Golf Challenge, with the individual honours going the way of Simpson and number one ranked Caitlyn Macnab.

The South Africa women’s team won the Regional All-Africa Challenge Trophy in Swaziland for a 13th consecutive time, with Myeki heading up the individual standings.

Rebula captured the individual titles in the Southeastern Conference and the Kiawah Classic on the US collegiate circuit and Daytona State College freshman Henriques bagged her first win in her third start for the Lady Falcons in the Stetson Hatter Fall Classic.

“The crowning glory in 2019 was our juniors winning the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan, where Martin and Sam partnered Christo and Casey (Jarvis) to a tournament record-setting 41-under-par total. Sam once again won the individual title.

“And we are very proud of Jayden, Martin, Christo, Sam and Jordan Duminy who will be flying the flag for South Africa as members of the International Team in the second Junior Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia this December," Agherdien said. – Source:
University of Pretoria (Tuks) swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker won the South African Sportswoman of Year Award as well as the South African Sports Star of the Year Award in Durban on Sunday, 10 November 2019.
  This year, Schoenmaker won a silver medal in the 200m-breaststroke during the World Championships in Korea. It was the first time that a local swimmer medalled at a world long course championship (50m).

The Tuks swimmer also won two gold medals (100m as well as 200m breaststroke) at the World Student Games in Napoli, Italy. She also won two gold medals at the Tokyo World Cup (100m and 200m breaststroke).

South Africa's national swimming coach, Graham Hill, was one of the first to congratulate Schoenmaker.

He said: "Well done. It has been a great team effort. Stay focussed. You guys are eight months away from something special. Believe me; it will be here quicker than you think."

Hill was referring to next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Schoenmaker said: "Every award I received is special. At times it is still hard to believe that I am considered to be one of the best. I am not always sure whether I inspire young female swimmers. I can only hope so.

“I will certainly continue trying to do my best whenever I compete. The most important thing every young swimmer should realise is that nothing is impossible. They only have to believe and be prepared to put in the long and hard hours.” – Source:


South African swimmer Chad le Clos scooped another Gold at the Fédération internationale de natation (FINA) Swimming World Cup (SWC) in Doha, Qatar, on Friday.
While we were all celebrating Le Clos’ 144th world cup gold for the 100m men’s fly on Thursday evening, he swam his way to another victory, this time in the 200m men’s fly… taking his world cup gold tally to 145!

For the first gold in Doha, which Chad said he wasn’t expecting to win at all, he had posted a few excited tweets about it. But for the second, he simply posted on Saturday: “Another gold last night thanks again everyone”.

FINA said: “Great to have seasoned World Cup campaigner Chad le Clos back in the water and he again found himself on top of the podium having secured, this time in the men’s 200m fly.”

Le Clos secured the victory in a time of 1:57.66.
And the best thing is that his father was there to witness it. Le Clos revealed in an interview after the race, that his father Bert (who is famous for supporting his "boy") had flown from Durban to watch the event.

An elated Le Clos said this week that he was “always proud to represent my country” and that Doha was a “lucky place” for him. He has trained there for years and says he calls Doha his “second home”. – Source:
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