Issue 405 | 21 November 2019
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded a Working Visit to Brasilia in the Federative Republic of Brazil where he participated in the 11th BRICS Summit on 13 and 14 November 2019.
At the conclusion of his visit, the President drew particular attention to the reconfirmation by leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa of their shared commitment to a strong multilateral system that is properly governed.

The President said this commitment, along with BRICS’ stated intent to promote trade among member states and play a key role in the growth of the world economy, constituted a notable positive outcome for the summit, which was themed “BRICS: Economic Growth for an Innovative Future”.

BRICS is an association of five major emerging countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – which together represent about 42% of the global population, 23% of global gross domestic product, 30% of the planet’s territory and 18% of global trade.
  President Ramaphosa said benefits arising from BRICS membership were evident across all partner countries with South Africa playing host to Brazilian bus manufacturers, Russian train manufacturers, Indian automotive companies and Chinese machinery producers.

“Each of the BRICS countries has South African fruit and vegetables on their tables, buildings constructed from South African metals and factories fitted with South African machinery and electronics,” said President Ramaphosa.

President Ramaphosa attributed these benefits to the BRICS strategy for economic partnership and the work of the BRICS Business Council.

The President said the council promoted economic growth, especially through intra-BRICS trade and was able to identify nodes of economic growth.

In this regard, the President stated the council had already identified a number of projects in infrastructure development, agriculture, renewable energy, agro-processing, mining and a range of other projects that would positively influence the economies of BRICS countries.

The President said that the council would ensure the New Development Bank (NDB) or financial institutions financed these projects.

The President tabled the formation of the NDB as another notable positive outcome of the BRICS association, as demonstrated by the bank’s strong capital base and projects already underway in all member states, with South Africa allocated US$2.5 billion.

President Ramaphosa was accompanied by First Lady, Dr Tshepo Motsepe; Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor; Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel; Minister of Health, Dr Zwelini Mkhize; and Minister of State Security, Ayanda Dlodlo.

  The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will create opportunities for the BRICS investment partners to develop infrastructure on the continent, says President Cyril Ramaphosa.

South Africa, he says, sees an important role for the BRICS formation to contribute to these efforts.

The President made these remarks at a cocktail reception he hosted in honour of African ambassadors accredited to Brazil. President Ramaphosa was in the South American country, where he was leading a South African delegation to the 11th BRICS Summit from 13 to 14 November 2019.

“We seek to build a more inclusive partnership between the leaders of BRICS countries and the elected leaders of African institutions. Apart from the BRICS Framework of Cooperation, BRICS countries have worked individually to promote cooperation and development with Africa,” the President said.

President Ramaphosa said the partnership pursued through the BRICS-Africa outreach was rooted in a firm belief in the political, economic and social potential of the African continent.

“It speaks to the promotion of peace and security, advancing industrial capacity and economic integration, and champions a people-centred approach to sustainable development. 
“As African nations, there has never been a better time to deepen our collaboration to ensure the AfCTA, our most ambitious collective venture yet, is a success.”

This, he said, was an opportunity to grow the continent’s economies and to use its considerable collective resources to uplift citizens and improve their conditions.

“Together, we are working to grow the economies of African countries through innovation, infrastructure development and trade.”

Speaking on the pending countdown to the launch of the AfCFTA, the President was confident the agreement would, in addition to its economic impact, have far-reaching political, social, physical and international effects.

“On the economic front, it will improve access to existing markets and lead to the creation of new ones. The free flow of goods and services will enable African businesses and entrepreneurs to expand their horizons and unleash the industrial capability of the continent. 

“The removal of trade barriers will lower prices and benefit consumers. Business costs will be reduced and business efficiency will be raised,” said President Ramaphosa.

On the political front, he said, the AfCFTA would help to consolidate the union among all African states and reduce the potential for conflict. 

“From a social perspective, it is likely to result in a more cosmopolitan Africa as the greater movement of people and skills brings more people of diverse backgrounds and nationalities together,” he said.

He said the AfCFTA would also have a broader international impact as Africa will be able to deal with other trade blocs from a position of greater strength, able to demonstrate economies of scale.

As the incoming chair of the African Union next year, South Africa will put great emphasis on giving effect to the agreement on the CFTA. – Source:
South Africa has used its Presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to champion the human rights of women in situations of armed conflict.
“The main deliverable we sought and achieved during South Africa’s Presidency of the Security Council was the unanimous adoption of Resolution 2493 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). The unanimity of the resolution was important as it served to rebuild consensus in the council on WPS Agenda”, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, said.
The Minister said Resolution 2493 recognised that there were gaps in the implementation of the commitments to protect and advance the rights of women in situations of armed conflict.

Minister Pandor was on Monday, 18 November 2019, briefing members of the media regarding South Africa’s Presidency of the UNSC for the month of October 2019.

“The WPS Agenda, and especially its recommendations on the human rights of women, has been challenged by many delegations over the last few years. The fact that South Africa, as the pen-holder for Resolution 2493, steered through a strong consensus-based resolution, strengthens the potential for increased accountability by member states for the implementation of all the resolutions that make up the WPS Agenda,” she said.

According to the Minister, women continue to be marginalised in peace processes even though they are the most affected by the devastating consequences of conflict.
“Resolution 2493 emphasises the implementation of all previous UNSC resolutions to ensure that member states commit to redoubling their efforts to advance the WPS Agenda,” Minister Pandor said.

The resolution strongly encourages member states to create safe and enabling environments for civil-society organisations that protect and promote human rights and to carry out their work independently and without interference.

The resolution also calls for a report on the progress and setbacks in the WPS Agenda and proposes recommendations to address new and emerging challenges.

UN-AU partnership

The Security Council held a briefing on the cooperation between the UN and regional organisations with particular focus on the UN-African Union (AU) partnership on 30 October.

Council members reaffirmed the importance of the partnership between the UN and the AU in conflict prevention, management, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

“It was noted that the coordination between the two organisations on peace and security matters has resulted in positive returns in recent months in respect to the peace agreement, which was brokered in the CAR between the Government and 14 armed groups; the successful facilitation of the transitional Government in Khartoum; and a common understanding on the way forward in South Sudan regarding the formation of a transitional government of national unity,” the Minister said.

All members expressed support for sustainable, predictable and flexible funding for AU-led peace-support operations authorised by the UNSC.

“Some members of the Security Council, including the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK), underscored the need for certain conditions to be met before UN assessed contributions can be utilised to support AU-led peace-support operations,” the Minister said.

The Security Council also adopted Resolution 2494, extending the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) by 12 months until 30 October 2020.

The resolution was adopted by 13 votes for and two abstentions. South Africa and Russia abstained.

“We were of the view that the text of the resolution was not balanced and fundamental principles of the UN Charter, such as impartiality of the UNSC and self-determination, were being undermined with qualifiers such as ‘realistic’ and ‘compromise’.

“In addition, South Africa raised concerns about the negotiation process, which is different from other resolutions in that the Group of Friends, made up of five countries (US, UK, Russia, Spain, France) and not the entire UNSC membership negotiates the MINURSO resolution before it is presented to the council, virtually as a fait accompli", the Minister said.

Middle East

The UNSC held its quarterly briefing on the Middle East, including the question of Palestine, on 28 October. South Africa chaired the meeting.

“The council was, among other things, briefed about continued violations of international law by Israel as it continues expanding its illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, thereby diminishing prospects for final status negotiations, which should result in a two-state solution in accordance with UN resolutions,” the Minister said.

She said South Africa reaffirmed that unless the occupation of Palestine and the resultant conflicts that arose out of the occupation were justly resolved, then sustainable peace in the Middle East would be difficult.

“Our statement also underscored the fact that conflict that arises due to the occupation of Palestinian territories are asymmetrical with power and control skewed to the Israeli Government and its security forces.

“The asymmetrical nature of the conflict that arises out of the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories means that we have to place more responsibility on the Israeli Government to end the occupation in accordance with international law, including numerous Security Council resolutions to this effect,” the Minister said. – Source:


The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, on Monday, 18 November 2019, hosted a symposium under the theme: “The Best Path towards a Prosperous Zimbabwe", at the University of South Africa.
The purpose of the symposium was to reflect on the call by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for the lifting of sanctions imposed on the Republic of Zimbabwe and to stimulate discussion on what can be done to kick-start the growth of the Zimbabwean economy following the economic meltdown.

The Minister said: “As the department, we have some appreciation of the nature of the challenges and the various economic and social imperatives. By all accounts, there are serious and seemingly intractable political factors that might need attention if solutions are to be effective or implementable. The political formations in Zimbabwe remain at loggerheads and have apparent deep antipathy toward each other, which makes joint decision-making and planning extremely difficult.

“It seems clear that even as we support the call for an end to economic sanctions, the political dynamics are inextricably linked to the economic and thus should be confronted simultaneously.
  This can only be led from Zimbabwe and would certainly ease the development of SADC contributions in response to the emergent compact.

“All reports on the economic situation point to a debilitating crisis and social situation that is worsened by international sanctions. The impact on citizens, on public services and public institutions is well known to most of us present here. Basic services are inadequately available, those offering critical services earn very little income and the cost of essential goods such as basic food items is beyond the ability of millions. Sanctions have failed to provide any aid to addressing these problems and may have worsened them.

“The situation has been equally negative for those with a livelihood and those without. Zimbabwe has experienced significant loss of skills in the past decade and this has harmed the possibility of efficient management of key economic sectors and institutions.
“South Africa has been a beneficiary of the loss of key skills and there has been substantial migration to different parts of South Africa. Finding solutions to this loss of skills will be an important part of the practical actions we should consider. We may have to devise innovative forms of institutional collaboration that would help sustain and perhaps restore the efficacy of critical institutions.

“SADC may need to go beyond the resolution we adopted and engage those who have imposed sanctions to agree on lifting sanctions to support the recovery of sectors such as health, agriculture and education.

“I hope our panellists will share ideas from work that they have been leading in their respective disciplines. They may be more alert to the possibility of initiating an inclusive political dialogue, or be alert to economic sectors that could promote increased employment and future growth. We do not have the answers as DIRCO and we hope to benefit from the wisdom of this dialogue. The imposed sanctions have not resulted in an end to the problems thus we need a move beyond describing the problems and the identification of key steps toward real change, growth and stability in Zimbabwe.”


The National Assembly in its plenary sitting on 19 November 2019 passed the Foreign Service Bill.
  The Bill provides for a single Foreign Service system for the country. This was done after the realisation that the management of government officials serving various departments abroad is fragmented and inconsistent.

Therefore, to address such concerns, the Foreign Service Bill seeks to create an enabling administrative and management framework. The foreign service system will be managed and regulated in a consolidated and coherent manner by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

This Bill will function within the existing legislative framework governing the public service sector and the security services in the country, including the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

The Bill will now be sent to the President for assent.
The Seventeenth Regular Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) took place from 11 to 15 November 2019 in Olive Convention Centre, Durban.
The conference took place under the theme: “Taking Action for Environmental Sustainability and Prosperity in Africa”.

The 17th Ordinary Session of AMCEN focussed on the green economy in Africa.

This economic sector is underpinned by, among other things, the circular economy, green business and green financing, the promotion of the biodiversity economy and natural capital accounting, as well as the oceans economy.

“It is my sincere hope that in line with the theme of this conference, there will be a greater focus on implementation in the short term and, in following, a business-unusual course of action trajectory, the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy said.
The Minister said the African Union’s Vision 2063 requires that urgent action be taken by all to halt unsustainable use of natural resources and ensure that the continent is placed on a growth trajectory that will meet the needs of present and future generations.

South Africa has taken over the Chair from Gabon until 2021. Chairing this strategic Ministerial Forum comes at a time when AMCEN is playing an increasingly prominent role in coordinating African positions on key issues for the United Nations (UN) Environment Assembly.

“As the incoming President of AMCEN, our country hopes to strengthen this body within the multilateral system of both the African Union and the United Nations (UN) Environment Assembly,” Minister Creecy said.

The meeting was attended by around 500 delegates from governments, UN agencies, civil society, academia and the youth. – Source:
  South Africa will contest a seat in the Council of the United Nations’ (UN) specialised agency on maritime affairs, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) at the 31st IMO Regular Session to be held from 25 November to 4 December 2019 in London, United Kingdom.
The country’s re-election campaign has been led by the Department of Transport under the leadership of Minister Fikile Mbalula.

The election campaign, launched by the department early this year, focussed on lobbying the international community to vote for South Africa’s re-election under Category C of the IMO Convention.

As part of the push to lobby support for the country’s re-election bid, Minister Mbalula and South Africa will host a special reception for the members of the diplomatic community from different countries.

The reception will give the country an opportunity to interact with different countries about South Africa’s intention to be re-elected to the Council of the IMO as the Department of Transport wraps up the re-election campaign which commenced early this year.

South Africa’s re-election to the IMO Council will ensure the continued representation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) sub-region, the Republic being the only country contesting the election from the SADC.              
The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and Global Peace Chairperson, Graça Machel, launched the “Plant Trees, Not bombs” global campaign on Thursday, 14 November 2019
This groundbreaking partnership between the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and Global Peace entailed the lowering of a “Tree of Peace” from a military helicopter onto the grounds of the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, Durban.

As part of the campaign, Minister Mapisa-Nqakula commited the SANDF to plant one million trees. The Minister will also challenge her counterparts across the world to plant a million trees, each using the military with a global target of planting 75 million trees by 25 October 2020 when the United Nations (UN) will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in New York.
The “Plant Trees, Not Bombs” Campaign is a Global Peace initiative designed to highlight the need for increased action to reduce and halt the effects of climate change.

Other key participants in the launch included UN Under-Secretary-General, Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond; KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala; eThekwini Metropolitan Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda; United Cities and Local Government (USLG) President Deputy Minister Parks Tau; and Global Peace founder, Dr Vasu Gounden.

The “Plant Trees, Not Bombs” Campaign was part of a trio of events hosted by Global Peace in Durban.
On Wednesday, 13 November 2019, at the opening ceremony of the UCLG World Congress, Global Peace Chair, Graça Machel, handed UN Under-Secretary-General Drummond a declaration calling for a Global Peace Charter.

On Friday, 15 November 2019, Global Peace hosted a global Inter-Generational Dialogue between four youth leaders from Brazil, Ghana, Italy and India and mayors from Sierra Leone, Turkey, Costa Rica and Portugal.


  Communications and Digital Technologies Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, says to fully leverage on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), the African continent needs to ensure all digital strategies are people-centred to ensure they are not left behind.
Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said this when she addressed a session on the 4IR at the AfricaCom Conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.  

She said this as several experts in the digital space warned that with the advent of new 4IR jobs, many old jobs are at risk of becoming redundant.

“As South Africa, we have taken a conscious decision that for Africa to thrive and leverage on the 4IR, we have to put people at the centre.

“We are one continent that is dominated by mostly young people who are unemployed … and most of the people are unconnected ... That alone presents an opportunity for future opportunities through the 4IR,” the Minister said.

AfricaCom is an annual technology conference that brings together 15 000 delegates, 450 speakers and in excess of 500 exhibitors. Over the years, AfricaCom has grown to be the biggest ICT showcase on the continent, comprising thought leadership sessions, discussion forums and exhibitions.

Addressing delegates, Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said it was important to ensure that Africans were digitally skilled.

“If our people are not skilled in terms of understanding the new era and how to thrive from it, we are going to miss out and be spectators again.”

She said in the context of 4IR, data was the new “oil”.

Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said there was a need for the continent to invest and build data analytics to ensure that when foreign investors are called upon to build their data centres, there would be personnel who could gather and analyse data to a point of helping government to improve on planning and budgeting.

Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said that to fully participate in the digital economy, there was a need to ensure that people were connected.

She said 46% of the population, or 20 million people in South Africa, were not connected to the Internet. The Communications Ministry has had engagements with different sectors in the private sector to talk about collaborations to get this section of the population connected.

Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said this would entail government incentivising the private sector, which contributes to bridging this digital divide through incentives and tax breaks.

“We have taken a conscious decision that we have to come up with a digital industrial strategy,” she said. – Source:
The European Union (EU) has pledged its support for the African Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), saying the agreement has the potential to spark economic growth and development.
Addressing delegates during a panel discussion on the last day of the three-day Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, the EU’s Private Sector Development Deputy Director, Axel Pougin de La Maisonneuve, said the EU was in full support of the AfCFTA and what it could do for Africa.

South Africa, together with 53 other African states, has deposited its instrument of the AfCFTA Ratification Agreement. The agreement, which is expected to create opportunities and benefits for all the nations of the continent and enable companies to expand their markets by exporting goods and services across the continent, is anticipated come into effect in July 2020.

“Any FTA is part of our [EU] DNA. The European Union FTA has seen the European economy grow and develop and has created jobs for so many people in Europe,” said Pougin de La Maisonneuve.
The EU has FTAs with individual countries across the world. On its website, the EU says these go beyond chapters providing for preferential tariff treatment. The agreements, says the organisation, also often include clauses on trade facilitation and rule-making in areas such as investment, intellectual property, government procurement, technical standards and sanitary and phytosanitary issues.

“Together with the African Union (AU) and governments in Africa, we also agree that the AfCFTA is the solution to the development challenge of Africa, regarding investment and job creation.

“It is a game changer and the EU is in support of it. We walk the talk. It is a financial commitment and expertise commitment that we put at the disposal of all AU regional entities and governments to gradually build capacity and expertise at these institutions that are necessary for Africans to work,” said Pougin de La Maisonneuve. – Source:
  Aspen Pharmacare has through its R3.4-billion investment, demonstrated its confidence in South Africa’s economic growth potential.
The company is one of the companies that heeded the call by President Cyril Ramaphosa to invest in the country as he intends to raise US$100 million – or R1.2 trillion – in new investments over five years, with a view to address low economic growth and reduce unemployment.

The country recently hosted the second South Africa Investment Conference, which amassed a total value of investment commitments of up to R363 billion.

According to the President, this investment is 17% higher than the R300 billion in investments made at the conference’s debut in 2018. These investments are expected to create 412 000 direct jobs over the next five years.

Aspen – a leading global specialty and branded multinational pharmaceutical company in both emerging and developed markets – has committed the largest ever pharmaceutical investment, which will establish a global steriles platform for the company, with significant export potential.

“Advanced manufacturing and strong export orientation are key pillars of our government's re-industrialisation strategy. Among the more important steriles to be manufactured at this facility are general and local anaesthetics – niche products requiring complex, difficult to replicate steriles capability.

“There is a further step in positioning Aspen as a leader in anaesthetic, injectable thrombosis and high-potency products,” Aspen Group Senior Executive Strategic Trade, Stavros Nicolaou, told SAnews.

He said the investment would be executed over three years, which included validation production, with commercial production aimed for early 2022.
At peak production, approximately 95% of production will be for export markets.

Nicolaou said Aspen had successfully executed a number of investments in creating significant capacity and capability at its Port Elizabeth site.

Aspen has an established presence in 70 locations, with 23 manufacturing facilities at 15 across six continents. Its flagship manufacturing assets are situated in Port Elizabeth.. – Source:
Gauteng-based company Etion Limited aims to grow their client network and sell high-tech digital solutions during the Outward Trade and Investment Mission (OTIM) to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, taking place from 18 November 2019.
  The mission, which is organised by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), aims to profile and market South African expertise and capabilities to Côte d’Ivoire in an effort to advance the levels of intra-Africa trade and investment.

Group Chief Executive Officer for Etion, Teddy Daka, said they wanted to grow significantly beyond South African borders and identify potential partners that could represent them in the Western African market.

The participating companies are funded by the dti through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA). The objective of the scheme is to support both market access for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.

The programme for the OTIM entails a trade and investment seminar, targeted business-to-business meetings, site visits and a roundtable discussion at the African Development Bank headquarters.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Nomalungelo Gina, will lead another group of businesspeople on an OTM to Pemba and Maputo in Mozambique from 24 to 29 November 2019.

The objective of the mission is to increase bilateral trade and investment between South Africa and Mozambique by exposing South African companies to opportunities available in Mozambique.

Mozambique is South Africa’s third-largest trading partner on the continent. Total trade between the two countries has remained strong over the past five years, growing from R43.9 billion in 2013 to R52.4 billion in 2018.

According to the Deputy Minister, the mission is an ideal platform for South African companies that would like to export value-added products and services, as well as those that are seeking investment opportunities in Mozambique.

“The specific focus of the mission will be on designated industrial and infrastructure projects as envisaged in the Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation between the two countries. These include the liquefied natural gas projects in the Northern Cabo Delgado Province; electricity generation, transmission and distribution systems; water supply systems; transport infrastructure such as ports, rail and roads; and the industrial development zones,” said Deputy Minister Gina. – Source:
This year, the ninth edition of the Boutique Hotel Awards awarded Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Lodge, a family-run operation at the Sabi Sand Game Reserve situated in the Greater Kruger, the World's Best Family Hotel Award.  
CNN reports that the award was given to this lodge largely thanks to its variety of activities on offer.

Featuring everything from game drives for the entire family, bush walks tagging the kids along and being close to the bush is the number one priority here. The luxury lodge also boasts a library on site, a family-friendly sunset deck and an outdoor swimming pool overlooking the largest body of water in the 63 000 ha, Big 5 game reserve. – Source:
Durban mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda, led some 6 000 residents on an 8km fun walk to cut the ribbon at the beginning of the new promenade extension on Saturday, 16 November.
The new promenade, hailed as the longest promenade in sub-Saharan Africa, is part of Durban’s vision to become the tourism destination of choice.

In a statement released by eThekwini Municipality, it revealed that the promenade extension spanned 750 metres long and 30 metres wide making it altogether the longest in sub-Saharan Africa.

“It provides linkages to all beaches on the city’s eastern boundary, tourist centres and the uMgeni River estuary cycle route and jogging track.

“Breaking ground in January 2018, with a spend of just under R400 million on the project (incl. design costs etc), 23 000 tons of concrete poured, piling depth of just over 18 meters, this over 440 working days, employing 500 construction workers and in the process ensuring that R135 million was spent on sub-contracting,” the statement said.

The opening of the promenade has come in the wake of the start of the festive season.

The city revealed its multi-pronged holiday plan, which includes various activities events and activations from 1 December, 2019 until 14 January 2020.There are interventions in place to ensure safety and security of guests to the city.

The city also announced that there would be 50 pool guides and 50 beach buddies employed to ensure the safety of beachgoers. Childminders will be deployed from 6am to 6pm daily.

Every child entering the beach will be tagged with particulars of their parent or guardian in the event of separation to ensure that parent and child are reunited efficiently.

Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said: "The festive period is truly a time that we savour as it provides us with the opportunity to showcase our beautiful city and its endless offerings to all, local, national and international visitors." – Source:


Zapiro recently received an esteemed French order that recognises a person's "contribution to the influence of arts in France and throughout the world".
South African cartoonist and satirist, Zapiro (Jonathan Shapiro), was recently awarded with the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters). French Ambassador Aurélien Lechevallier bestowed the award on the cartoonist on behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron on 13 November in Cape Town.

It is said that the French Government’s Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters was conferred on “persons who have distinguished themselves by their creativity in the field of art, culture and literature or for their contribution to the influence of arts in France and throughout the world".

“Cartoonists are like an archer, an arrow that can never miss the very centre, the dark spot of the target, a long distance away,” said Ambassador Lechevallier during the ceremony.

According to the Daily Maverick, the ceremony and award were ‘a celebration of cultural and artistic excellence, as well as a nod to the complex, demanding and at times dangerous work done by satirical cartoonists, and the ‘fire’ of laughter – or anger – they spark with their ink".

“Every day, they walk on the tightrope. But when they walk, like Zapiro, on the ground, they really play with a good type of fire. The kind of fire that ignites laughter when you would think you are no longer able to laugh. The kind of fire that heals the pain, that lifts the suffering. It is the light of a sun that unveils the clear and obvious face of the beauty and the ugliness of the human soul. A fire that spreads to the mind and sparks a series of thoughts and new ideas. A fire that we can share with friends, with colleagues, with strangers in the street. A fire that is at the heart of Art, at the essence of what we call literature or Letters in French.”

While in conversation with the SABC, Zapiro (who has won numerous awards) said that when powerful people like politicians abuse their power, he wants to use his voice to call them out. And that’s why he will continue to fight for freedom of expression, equality and dignity.

In the past, the Knight Award was awarded to Susan Sontag, Patti Smith, Steven Spielberg and more. – Source:
Four young and up-and-coming chefs were sent to Shanghai by the South African Chefs Association where they won bronze at the Young Chefs Challenge.
  The group, made up of four young chefs, flew the South African flag high in Shanghai. The team members were Siyabulela Kobo (Team Manager), Calson Madlala, Njabulo Hlengwa, Chantal Molnar and Hope Mdakane.

The South African Chefs Association represents the best chefs in South Africa. The association is part of the World Association of Chefs Societies (Worldchefs). It is through this organisation that South Africa is able to compete against the best in the world.

“SA Chefs aims to have a significant impact on the careers of the chefs with whom we share the knowledge that our members have acquired through international food promotions, competitions, workshops, educational conferences and various other learning experiences.”

The bronze award is the second award the young chefs have received in the last two weeks. They also brought home a silver from the African Culinary Cup. – Source:
The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Executive MBA (EMBA) programme has cracked the global top 50, coming in at 47, according to the latest "Financial Times" rankings.
It is the first time an African programme received the prestigious global nod.

The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) has also now been ranked by three separate organisations (including Eduniversal and Quacquarelli Symonds) as the best EMBA in Africa.

The only other African programme to feature in the 2019 ranking is the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria, which is ranked at 82.

“This is a big deal,” says interim director of the UCT GSB, Associate Professor Kosheek Sewchurran. “This ranking is a significant endorsement for the innovative work we are doing here in Africa to find better ways to produce ethical, aware and empathetic leaders capable of leading with impact in the 21st century.”

The EMBA ranked 10th globally for Career Progress and fifth for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Career Progress is calculated according to changes in the level of seniority, and the size of company alumni work in now, versus before their EMBA. CSR measures the proportion of core courses dedicated to CSR, ethics, social and environmental issues.

The programme, which has been running for 21 years, is one of the fastest-growing postgraduate degrees at UCT and is known for its focus on the practice of management and leadership rather than on traditional training in business functions.

The unique degree is designed to expose students to different ways of viewing and being in the world, and to produce graduates who are solving the complex problems of our times, UCT says. – Source:
The Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative has been running for only a few months and focusses on gang-ridden areas.
Award-winning Hollywood actor and social activist Forest Whitaker was in Cape Town on Thursday, 14 November 2019, to empower young people.

In August, BNP Paribas Group South Africa and RCS announced a five-year programme with the initiative.

Whitaker's initiative has started with 46 young people training to become young peacemakers.

They have been participating in conflict resolution and entrepreneurship programmes and will ultimately become "trainers of trainees".

Joseph Jacobs, who grew up in Delft and lives in Mitchells Plain, told Eyewitness News over the past few months he learnt a lot and was ready to assist young people in his community. He is concerned about gangsterism and school dropouts.

Whitaker has developed the Youth Peacemaker Network in South Sudan, Uganda, the United States, Mexico and now in South Africa. – Source:

Donning his South African flag with pride, Teddy Nzama has beaten 15 000 Starbucks employees to be crowned the best barista across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Nzama, who started working at the Starbucks in Florida Road, Durban, around two years ago, took the ultimate prize in London recently.

After touching down on home soil, he said his achievement had not yet sunk in.

"[I am] slowly processing," he laughed in a video posted to the Starbucks' EMEA Instagram account.

Asked what his plans were, he said he was going to keep doing what he was doing and stay humble.

"It is just so nice being home. Everyone is so happy and I am happy they are happy."

Nzama and 29 other finalists, who were all national champions in their home countries, battled it out over three days. They were whittled down to 16 finalists who had to showcase their skills in the "latte art throw-down".

A panel of experts then decided on the overall winner, choosing Nzama because he demonstrated superior abilities and his personal journey was inspiring.

Congratulatory messages streamed in for Nzama on social media from citizens, including those he had made a cuppa for in the past.

As part of his prize, Nzama will visit Milano Roastery in Milan and join fellow employees for an annual trip to coffee farms in Rwanda. – Source:
Amy-Claire King was crowned the World Masters Singles champion at the World 8 Ball Pool Championships in Blackpool, England, earlier this year. She was also named the Player of the Tournament.
World 8 ball pool champion Amy-Claire King is pleading with authorities to give more support to the sport of pool.

King recently returned from Morocco, where she was crowned Africa’s female pool champion, at the All Africa Pool Championships.

However, despite her amazing exploits in the world of pool this year, the Joburg player has received little to no recognition for her victories, neither is she or her fellow South African pool teammates supported financially in any way.

“People just aren’t willing to jump on board because they see pool as a sport played in bars. It’s sad that people don’t know about how well our pool players are doing. They deserve the recognition.”

At the All Africa Championships in Marrakesh, Morocco, King walked away with the Africa Ladies Singles title, while the South African men’s and ladies pool team won the overall tournament.
For King, this means she has now won three major pool tournaments this year, including the prestigious World Masters Singles champion, at the World 8 Ball Pool Championships, in Blackpool, in England.

King says she is hoping pool players in the country start getting the recognition they deserve.

King is hoping that her team’s win, and her individual wins, will change the landscape of 8 ball in South Africa.

 “We could really be helped financially. It’s tough to keep funding all these tournaments out of your own pocket. There would be nothing greater than managing to get some sponsors or partners on board, to take the pressure of funds off the ladies.”

But King says she lived in an “absolute dream world” this year.

“I have far exceeded any expectations I had, going into 2019. Winning the Ladies South African Championships for the fourth time, to then winning the World Ladies Masters Singles and now the All Africa Ladies Singles, has been absolutely breathtaking.

“I would never, in a million years, have thought I would hold all three of those titles in one year. That excludes winning every single team event I’ve taken part in, from local to international, and from ladies to men. I feel so blessed and grateful. I would relive it any day.”

Speaking about her victory in Morocco two weeks ago, King says it was a great experience, coming up against the best African female pool players in the world. – Source:


SA's Brad Binder ended his Moto2 career on a high in Valencia on Sunday as he readies for the huge step up to MotoGP next year.

Binder battled Tom Luthi all the way to the finish line on his Red Bull KTM Ajo bike to clinch the Moto2 Valencia Grand Prix, making it his third win in a row at the end of the season.

Due to the delayed Moto3 race, the Moto2 event was shortened to only 16 laps at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit.

Binder finishes second in the championship, just three points shy of the Moto2 champion Alex Marquez. – Source:

“Mr President, I wish to begin by thanking the Secretary-General, Professor Alpaslan Özerdem, and Ms Ilwad Elman for their briefings on this very important topic on the role and value of reconciliation in the maintenance of international peace and security.

“South Africa recognises and values the importance of national reconciliation processes in achieving sustainable peace, especially in countries transitioning from conflict to post-conflict situations.

“Mr President,

“As you will be aware, South Africa went through its own process of reconciliation after having dismantled the oppressive system of apartheid. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established with the aim of:
  • granting amnesty from criminal and civil liability to people who made full disclosures of acts committed with a political objective during the course of conflicts of the past
  • affording victims an opportunity to relate the violations they suffered
  • taking measures aimed at the granting of reparations to victims
  • restoring the human and civil dignity of victims of violations of human rights
  • making recommendations aimed at preventing the commission of gross human rights violations.
“Many South Africans had the opportunity to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in a series of public hearings, either as victims or as perpetrators of acts that violated human rights. State institutions, political parties, organisations and the business sector were also required to elaborate on their respective roles in the past.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission had to deal with the question of reconciliation and the future, on the one hand, and the necessity to establish the truth in relation to past events and ensure reparation to the victims of gross human rights abuses, on the other hand. These issues had to be carefully considered and balanced, both during and after the historic transition from apartheid and oppression to a constitutional democracy. The compromises were sometimes painful, as was confronting the truth of past oppression. However, for us, based on our own national circumstances and history, it was our way to reconcile decades-long oppression and proceed with nation-building.

“Reconciliation measures during transitions from post-conflict situations are crucial in ensuring long-term stability, however, it is equally important to realise that one size does not fit all. Transitional justice processes must respond to the specific context of the country in transition. The creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in our own country was the manner in which we chose to deal with our own past and future. Countries emerging from conflict have to find their own ways of bridging the past with new possibilities for the future in the context of their own unique circumstances.

“Mr President,

“The debate between peace and justice still continues and each State needs to take broad ownership of their particular transitional processes and find their own balance in the sequencing of peace, justice and reconciliation. While human rights norms have strengthened transitional justice, as it has developed into an accepted response to political transitions, they have also shaped it into a largely legalistic field with an often narrow accountability and justice-based focus. It is further necessary to consider that there is a political necessity of promoting alternative means of accountability. Focussing on prosecutions alone can destabilise transitions. Thus, the whole spectrum of transitional justice needs to be explored, including truth commissions and reparations for victims.

“In addition, it is important to recognise the value and importance of community-based or ‘traditional’ justice mechanisms, where local conflict-resolution and healing practices are adapted to address grave violations. Equally important are efforts to ensure the representation of women and the youth not only in transitional justice processes but also at the negotiating table beforehand.

“As Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, has written, ‘The establishment of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a pioneering international experiment, with a potentially far-reaching effect on the way we all deal with conflict. Normally, when countries move through the difficult transition from oppression to democracy, they deal with the past in one of two ways: either the leaders of the old order are put on trial or dealt with summarily, or previous events are swept under the carpet and the suffering of those subjected to violence is ignored. South Africa followed a third, unique, way when it ended apartheid. To those who had committed grave violations of human rights, it offered amnesty in exchange for public disclosure of the truth about their crimes, and to the victims, it gave an unusual opportunity to be heard, as well as hope for reparations.

“Mr President,

“The international community, and the United Nations in particular, has an important role to play in creating an enabling environment in which reconciliation can occur. Durable peace is not achieved simply through the signing of peace agreements, it also requires a comprehensive approach that involves the active participation of the broader multilateral system to address peace and security as well as sustainable development needs. As in peacekeeping operations, different situations would require different responses to deal with post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation.

“The role of the United Nations in peace and security continues to be redefined, requiring more extensive involvement in bringing about peace and security as well as nurturing and maintaining it, once the parties have ceased hostilities. Enabling environments for reconciliation and sustainable outcomes are further strengthened through collaborative efforts between the United Nations and regional organisations such as the African Union.

“On our own continent, the African Union seeks durable peace and sustainable development through the mechanisms and structures it has put in place for conflict prevention, peacemaking, peace-support operations and intervention, as well as peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction.

“It is important to strengthen the linkages between regional and global mechanisms, if we wish to ensure that the UN System, and in particular the Security Council, is able to help establish enabling environments in countries plagued by conflict, in order to support nationally owned reconciliation processes and bringing about sustainable peace and security.

“Thank you.”
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