Issue 407 | 05 December 2019
If this newsletter doesn’t load or images don’t display, please click here
Consular Services - Travel Smart with DIRCO
  President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday, 3 December 2019, departed from Cape Town to undertake working visits to the Republic of Guinea on 4 December 2019, Republic of Ghana on 5 December 2019 and Republic of Togo on 6 December 2019.

The visits take place in the context of strengthening the already existing bilateral, political and economic relations between South Africa and the sister countries.

South Africa is one of the largest foreign direct investors in Ghana, mainly in mining, communications, beverages, retail and franchising. Several South African companies are operating in Ghana, including MTN, AngloGold Ashanti, Shoprite, Goldfields, Standard Bank, First National Bank, Barclays/Absa, Multichoice and South African Airways.

South African business has a significant footprint in Guinea and Togo and some of the major South African companies operating in these countries include MTN, WBHO, AngloGold Ashanti, Gateway Africa, Plan Africa Holding Guinea SARL in Guinea and UBU Holdings in Togo. Nedbank is a shareholder in the Lomé Head-Quartered West African Bank, Eco bank.

The working visits provide an opportunity for South Africa to explore new areas of cooperation with Guinea, Ghana and Togo, and promote increased trade and investment flows to the mutual benefit of the peoples of the four countries.

The visits also create a platform for President Ramaphosa to engage with his counterparts on matters of mutual interest in South Africa’s quest for a peaceful and prosperous continent in line with the aspirations of African Union Agenda 2063 as well as the reform of the global governance system.

President Ramaphosa is joined by the following ministers: International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor; Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza; Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; State Security, Ayanda Dlodlo; and the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Fikile Majola.

In view of the President’s travel later today and Deputy President David Mabuza’s concurrent working visit to Juba, South Sudan, the President has designated Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, as Acting President.
  Deputy President David Mabuza, in his capacity as South Africa’s Special Envoy to South Sudan, chaired the meeting of Parties to the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan.
The consultative meeting was on the contentious issue of the number of states and their boundaries.

The consultative meeting was preceded by the 13th Ordinary Summit of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Heads of State and Government, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 29 November 2019.

The Deputy President arrived in Juba, South Sudan, on Monday, 2 December 2019, at the invitation of IGAD. 

The meeting was facilitated by the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, the Kenya Special Envoy to South Sudan IGAD, the Sudan Special Envoy to South Sudan and the Senior Adviser to the President of Uganda on South Sudan.

“We are hopeful that this consultative meeting will result in consensus on the remaining issues that led to the extension of the pre-transitional period. I have no doubt that all the signatories to the agreement want what is best for South Sudan and her people,” Deputy President Mabuza said.

The consultative meeting took place from 2 to 3 December 2019 in Juba and was attended by all the parties to the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan.

The Ordinary Summit commended South Sudan for the strides it made towards the consolidation of peace, more specifically, for silencing the guns for over a year. – Source:
On Monday, 2 December 2019, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, delivered the eulogy at the memorial service of His Excellency Mr Radhi-Sghaiar Bachir, Ambassador of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic to the Republic of South Africa in Pretoria.
  Ambassador Bachir passed away following a short illness on 27 November 2019 while in hospital in Spain. He assumed his duties in South Africa in January 2017.

On behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Government and the people of South Africa, Minister Pandor expressed her heartfelt condolences to Ambassador Bachir‘s family, friends, the Government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Sahrawi people.

Minister Pandor added that: “Ambassador Bachir was a true champion of the cause of the people of Western Sahara. He actively engaged with all political parties, civil society, academia and friends of Western Sahara in his attempt to bring about the total emancipation of the people of Western Sahara. He will be sorely missed.”

Minister Pandor said the Government of South Africa would continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Western Sahara in their quest for self-determination.
  The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), on Wednesday, 27 November 2019, briefed a media delegation from several African countries, including Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, on South Africa’s approach to its role as Chair of the Africa Union for the year 2020.
The journalists were on a tour of South Africa, organised by the Government Communication and Information System. The purpose of the tour was to engage Africa’s media houses about South Africa and her systems, especially the immigration and justice system and the work on Chapter 9 institutions.
The Minister in The Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, says the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Media Awards are a powerful tool to drive the narrative of a new Africa, one of unlimited potential and a renewed hope for a better future.
“These awards are an integral part of Africa reclaiming our own story and driving the narrative. The stories we tell are uniquely ours, and within them are tales of hope, change and renewal,” Minister Mthembu said.

Speaking at the SADC Media Awards event held in Centurion, Pretoria, on Friday, 29 December 2019, Minister Mthembu said the SADC Media Awards were a firm pointer to the fact that Africa was on the rise.

The awards were jointly hosted by the National Press Club and the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).

“Africa is changing and so too are outdated and myopic views of our continent. Africa is home to us all and its future success and growth lie in our collective hands. We dare not allow others to drive the agenda and steer our future.
“The African Union’s Agenda 2063 vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa is very much alive in these awards. Agenda 2063 calls for an Africa-driven and managed by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena,” Minister Mthembu said.

Minister Mthembu said media practitioners and journalists from the SADC region constituted a vital intellectual and practical contribution to a collective continental effort to create a better Africa and a better world.

“The SADC Media Awards are much more than an annual prize,” he said.

He said journalists and media practitioners were responsible for a powerful institution, which provided for important platforms of communication.

“The institution you are responsible for has tremendous power to influence our thinking, attitude and behaviour.

“The media must and should welcome investigative journalism, courage and commitment to expose corruption, wrongs, bad, rights, good and the truth, through accurate, factual and fair reporting,” the Minister said.

The SADC Media Awards were initiated by the Council of Ministers within SADC in 1996.

The rationale was to ensure that SADC programmes are profiled and communicated by the media. These awards serve as part of ensuring a link, coordination and synchronisation between formal structures of SADC governments, civil society, academia, labour and the media.

To promote regional integration and cooperation (cross-border issues), the awards aim to recognise excellence in journalism in the area of print, photojournalism, television and radio as well as to encourage media practitioners in member states to cover issues pertaining to the region for the promotion of regional integration and cooperation.

The winners for the 2018 SADC Media Awards are Mosotho Stone in the Radio Category and Debra Hathway in the Print Category.

Stone, an employee at the GCIS’ Radio Unit, also works at Ubuntu Radio, at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

Hathway is known for her investigative journalism in rhino poaching. She investigated a television documentary where she traced guns in the neighbouring countries that were used in rhino poaching.

The awards were also attended by local journalists representing the print and electronic media and visiting journalists from various African countries. The journalists were in the country at the invitation of GCIS.

Entries for the 2020 SADC Media Awards are now open. – Source:
The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has started with the testing and piloting of the electronic visa application system, the e-Visa.
  The DHA revealed its plans at a briefing on Sunday, 1 December 2019.

This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa's promise at this year’s Africa Travel Indaba in Durban to introduce a world-class e-visa system and reduce the red tape that travellers face when visiting the country.

President Ramaphosa said at the time: “We must reduce the onerous and often unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that tourists who want to visit our countries face. This requires us to streamline our tourist visa regimes."

“As South Africa, we are committed to working towards the African Union’s goal of visa-free travel and a single African air transport market. We are in the process of radically overhauling our visa dispensation for the rest of the world and introducing a world-class e-visa system. The challenges are going to be ironed out,” he said.
The DHA said in a statement that the decision to introduce the e-Visa provided many benefits. “It is reliable, client-friendly and convenient for visa applicants, airlines, trade partners and Home Affairs officials.

“Once fully rolled-out, prospective visitors will apply online for visas, at home, office or place of work. It will lessen administrative burdens, including those involved in receiving applicants at visa offices, printing visa stickers and returning passports to applicants.”

It also revealed that the department was testing the new system with Kenya.

“As part of the pilot, a team of DHA immigration and IT officials visited Kenya. This team is scheduled to return to Kenya next week, on December 9, 2019. The first Kenyan tourist who applied for the visitors’ visa on the new e-Visa system arrived yesterday (Saturday) afternoon and more are expected this week as part of the pilot.

“We are continuously monitoring this pilot process to ensure that user experience is not compromised,” the statement said.

China, India and Nigeria will be included to the pilot early next year, which will run until March 2020. – Source:
The Department of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture in Angola, is hosting the Africa Cultural Season in Luanda, Angola.

The Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, is leading a delegation of South African artists to showcase the country’s artistic talent and create an intercultural and intergenerational dialogue between the two countries and signing of memoranda of understanding between the two countries from 28 November – 6 December 2019 as part of the department’s Africa Cultural Seasons Programme.

As 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of democracy in South Africa, the South African Cultural Season in Angola is celebrated under the theme: “Celebrating 25 Years of South African Democracy, A 25-year Journey”. The Cultural Season is paying attention to sharing experiences through various genres of art like music, dance, poetry, film, fashion and design, mural and craft, forging unity, integration as well as collaborations between the two countries by sharing expertise through masterclasses, reflecting on the journey undertaken in the past 25 years.

Film and music play an important part in telling the South African history. The season will showcase films such as Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Zulu Wedding, while musicians such as Yvonne Chaka Chaka and others will be tantalising the audience with their sweet voices.
The Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, recently congratulated Cape Town for being voted best city in the world for seven years in a row by “Telegraph” readers.
The award was decided by over 39 000 readers who voted as part of the Telegraph Travel Awards survey.

Cape Town won the top spot ahead of other mega tourist cities such as Vancouver, Kyoto, New York, Rome, Florence and many others. “The original Khoi inhabitants named the iconic flat-topped massif “Hoerikwaggo,” Mountain of the Sea, and it is precisely this unique geography, towering mountains that drop, at times perpendicularly, into the vast blue, that is so seductive,” said the Telegraph.

In addition to appreciating splendor of and climbing Table Mountain, tourists can also visit Boulder’s penguins, take a trip to the Winelands for wine tasting surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes and century-old architecture, or go on a tour to Robben Island, one of South Africa’s world heritage sites.

“Cape Town is one of the clear illustrations of what makes South Africa a destination of choice for tourists across the globe. The diversity of tourist attractions and the diverse cultures of the multiple population groups that make up the inhabitants of the city make Cape Town a unique tourist destination.

“It is these unique features of the city that provide visitors of the city the most authentic and memorable South African tourist experience,” said Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, has appointed Anriette Esterhuysen of the Republic of South Africa ‎as the new Chair of the Internet Governance Forum’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group.

The Multistakeholder Advisory Group advises the Secretary-General on the programme of Internet Governance Forum annual meetings. It comprises 50 members drawn from governments, the private sector and civil society, including representatives of the academic and technical communities.

Ms Esterhuysen currently serves as a Commissioner on the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace. She was the Executive Director of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) – the largest ICT-focussed civil-society network in the world – from 2000 to 2016. She continues to work with APC as a consultant and convenes the African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) – a joint initiative of APC, the African Union Commission and Research ICT Africa. Ms Esterhuysen has served on the African Technical Advisory Committee of the UN Economic Commission for Africa's African Information Society Initiative (1996 – 1999), the UN ICT Task Force (2002 – 2005), the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Working Group on Financing Mechanisms (2003 – 2005), the Commission on Science and Technology for Development Working Group on Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Improvements (2011 – 2012) and on Enhanced Cooperation (2017 – 2018), the Global Commission on Internet Governance and the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the IGF (2012 – 2014).  She was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame as a Global Connecter in 2013.

The Secretary-General expressed his deep appreciation to Lynn St. Amour, outgoing Chair of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group, for her leadership and able guidance since 2016.
The Department of Social Development has partnered with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to empower young women from poor households with skills that will enable them to be economically independent.

One hundred women between 18 and 23 years recently participated in a three-day training programme, entitled: “Empowering 100 Women Future Leaders in Hospitality Excellence”.

Some of the young women undergoing training are beneficiaries of social grants. Currently, the majority of social grant recipients (over 45%) are young mothers below the age of 35 years.
During the tabling of the Budget Vote this year, the department prioritised linking social grant beneficiaries to jobs and economic opportunities as part of its Sustainable Livelihood Approach.

The training programme, which started on 25 November 2019, formed part of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children.

The programme was conducted by experts from the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management. It focussed on excellence in the hospitality industry, with the view of imparting world-class skills in tourism and hospitality through capacity development.

The department said the training programme’s focus areas included food and beverage service, hotel front office operations, improving the customer experience, the role of information technology in the hospitality industry, and industry-specific communication skills.

“Through the training programme, young women can learn a skilled trade, start a small business or get work experience. This positive ‘asset-based’ approach is intended to assist the young women to build a set of skills that will give them a chance to graduate out of the social grant system and to become less financially dependent on their partners,” the department explained.

Research and anecdotal evidence show that abused women sometimes stay in toxic relationships not out of choice, but because they are financially dependent on their abusers, and leaving their abusive partners may plunge them and their children into poverty. – Source:
South African cities have nabbed the top three places on a list of 15 prime property hotspots in Africa for 2019.
The 2019 Africa Wealth Report by AfrAsia Bank and New World Wealth compared the US dollar price of a 200m² to 400m² apartment in the most exclusive part of major African cities or towns as of December 2018.

Cape Town landed the number one spot, followed by Umhlanga (north of Durban) and Sandton in Johannesburg at number three.

Expect to cough up US$5 600 (about R82 600) per square metre in Cape Town's exclusive Atlantic Seaboard suburbs of Clifton and Bantry Bay.

Along Umhlanga's Lagoon Drive you would need about $2 800/m² for a luxury apartment. At about R41 300/ m², this is roughly half of what you would pay for the same type of apartment in Clifton or Bantry Bay.
  When looking at buying something similar in central Sandton, you would likely have to pay $2 600 (about R38 350). For the purposes of the report, "wealth" refers to the net assets of a person. It, therefore, includes all their assets – like property, cash, equities and business interests – less any liabilities.

The report estimates that an average individual living in Africa has net assets of approximately US$1 900 (about R28 025) in terms of wealth per capita.

Cape Town is home to Africa's most exclusive and expensive suburbs such as Clifton, Bishopscourt, Camps Bay and Bantry Bay. The Mother City is also a hotspot for wealthy second homeowners from around the world.

As for Umhlanga, it has been the top second home hotspot for wealthy Joburgers since the 1970s.

Following the construction of Gateway shopping centre in 2001, Umhlanga has also become a major business hub for wealthy residents to live and work. The apartments on Lagoon Drive in Umhlanga are some of the most expensive in the country.

As for Sandton, most of Johannesburg's wealth is concentrated in Sandton, which is home to the JSE (the largest stock market in Africa) and to the head offices of most of Africa's largest banks and corporates.

The report estimates that there are approximately 140 000 dollar millionaires living in Africa, each with net assets of US$1million or more. There are 23 dollar billionaires living in Africa, each with net assets of US$1billion or more. – Source:
Over the past three years, the passionate South African conservationist has been part of the team that completed three world-first expeditions.
  Well-known KwaZulu-Natal conservationist Sheelagh Antrobus has just been accepted as a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Geographical Society, the professional body that advances geography and supports related fields of interest across the globe.

Antrobus, the founder of conservation organisation Project Rhino, is one of the integral members of the Kingsley Holgate Foundation expedition team, which specialises in using geographic adventures to conduct humanitarian work and raise awareness about Africa’s endangered wildlife. This South Africa-based foundation now boasts four Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society, including Ross Holgate, who heads up the foundation; Mike Nixon, the celebrated mountain biker who cycles the expeditions; and the legendary adventurer and humanitarian himself, Kingsley Holgate.

Over the past three years, Sheelagh has been part of the team that completed three world-first expeditions in their Land Rover Discoverys. In 2017, they reached Africa’s most easterly point in Somalia on the Horn of Africa; in 2018, a transcontinental journey took them from Cape Town to Kathmandu in Nepal and onto India; and more recently in 2019, their east-to-west Zambezi to Congo expedition included helping the Doctors for Life volunteer medical team to conduct life-changing eye operations.
Antrobus’s love for wildlife led her to set up the award-winning, aerial anti-poaching unit, the Zululand Anti-Poaching Wing (ZAP-Wing) that supports more than 20 game reserves, collectively holding the second-largest remaining population of rhinos left in the world. In 2016, she received the prestigious Rhino Conservation Award from the Game Rangers Association of Africa. She is one of the founders of Rhino and Elephant Art, a youth conservation programme that uses educational school lessons and community football matches to engender a passion for wildlife amongst young people, as well as the World Youth Wildlife Summit series, which works towards building a new generation of conservation leaders across Africa and the world.

To be accepted as a Fellow of the 190-year-old Royal Geographical Society, a person must have sufficient involvement in geography or an allied subject through their training, profession, research and publications, or demonstrate expertise in related fields such as the environment, conservation and ecology. – Source:
A South African schoolgirl – Okuhle Mose – has won first place in the world for Hip Hop dancing. Mose’s proud primary school, Maragon Ruimsig, made the announcement on social media this week.
  The private school in Ruimsig said that nine-year-old Okuhle – who belongs to Pulzation Dance Studio – had first participated in the South African qualifier of the Euro Dance competition (run by Talent Africa) … and then went on to represent South Africa at the International competition in Serbia during November.

As if her win in Hip Hop wasn’t enough, Okuhle also came second in freestyle!

Maragon Ruimsig said: “She won 1st place for Hip Hop and 2nd place for freestyle. Congratulations, we are very proud of you!” – Source:
A Stellenbosch Market has been added to a list of the 50 best Christmas markets in the world, voted in by over 1.5 million people.
South Africa actually has a Christmas Market that competes with the best in the world! The Stellenbosch Slow Market hosts an annual festive market and it has landed fifth on a list of the 50 best Christmas markets around the world.

Big 7 Travel has released its official list of the top 50 finalists recently. With the festive season approaching, travellers across the world are finalising plans for winter breaks.

This year’s top Christmas markets were ranked on a number of factors, including but not limited to vendor variety, entertainment, local traditions, reader suggestions from 1.5 million social audience and previous awards.
“This fantastic local market celebrates artisan crafts and food all year round, but their annual Christmas fest is a must-visit. There are all sorts of goodies to browse, such as gingerbread houses, artisan home décor, 100% raw organic chocolate, biltong and German Christmas biscuits.

"As well as plenty of gift inspiration, you can chow down on all the trimmings, with Christmas cakes and puddings, toffee apples for the kids, Christmas trifle and mulled wine for the adults."

Not only was the Stellenbosch Slow Market added but the Franschoek Village Christmas Market was also chosen. It appears 39th of the list. – Source:
Stay Connected with us
facebook   youtube

For back issues of NewsFlash, visit:


video button video button fina winners