Issue 412 | 6 February 2020
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President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted the Head of Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel, on an Official Visit on Thursday, 6 February 2020, at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
Chancellor Merkel is visiting South Africa at the invitation of President Ramaphosa from Wednesday, 5 February, to Friday, 7 February 2020.

This visit follows the successful State Visit by the Head of State of the Federal Republic of Germany, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in Cape Town in November 2018.

South Africa and Germany’s strategic relationship is substantiated by 72 bilateral agreements between the two nations, providing a legal framework for cooperation in several areas.

These relations are further enhanced through a Binational Commission, spanning Foreign and Security Policy, Migration and Humanitarian Assistance, Economy and Energy Development Cooperation, Environment, Science and Technology, Arts and Culture, Labour and Social Affairs and Vocational Education and Training.
This partnership will be strengthened through this week’s engagement between President Ramaphosa and Chancellor Merkel on, among other issues, cooperation between South Africa and Germany in the United Nations Security Council where South Africa currently serves as a non-permanent member. The two countries are committed to advocating for world peace and security, strengthening and reforming multilateral institutions and responding to climate change.

The leaders also exchanged proposals on the expansion of mutually beneficial trade and investment.

South Africa is Germany’s largest trading partner in Africa while Germany is the third-largest source of overseas visitors to South Africa.
Approximately 600 German companies are represented in South Africa. Total trade reached R235 billion over the 12 months to the end of November 2019, while South African exports (at R108 billion) exceeded R100 billion for the first time, narrowing the trade deficit.
South Africa will use its Chairship of the African Union (AU) to promote the economic empowerment of women, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday, 3 February 2020.
"With the African Continental Free Trade Area coming into operation this year, we have an opportunity to ensure that women and women-owned businesses are able to meaningfully benefit from what will be the world’s largest common market for goods and services," President Ramaphosa wrote in his weekly newsletter.

"Just as there can be no real gender equality without economic emancipation for women, so too there can be no sustainable economic growth for any country unless women are full and equal participants."

President Ramaphosa will travel to Addis Ababa at the end of the week to attend the summit where South Africa takes Chairship of the AU for the coming year.

He pointed out that this coincided with the end of the African Women’s Decade and the 25th anniversary of the World Conference on Women, where United Nations (UN) member countries adopted the Beijing Platform for Action towards greater equality and opportunity for women.

"This is an opportunity for African countries to gauge the progress they have made to protect the fundamental freedoms of women. It is also an opportunity to measure just how far we have come and what more needs to be done to broaden the economic participation of women," said President Ramaphosa.

He said African nations needed to acknowledge that there were too few women in some industries, notably science, that equal pay for equal work was not adequately respected and women still held lower paid and lower skilled jobs than men, who also did not do their fair share of child-rearing and domestic chores.

"These are some of the inequalities that, together with other African countries, we aim to correct." he said.

"We want to use our term as AU Chair to improve women’s representation in economic and political decision-making processes in their home countries, in the AU, in the UN and in other multilateral organisations. We want policy and regulatory harmonisation across AU member countries that promote women’s participation in the labour force but also in creating pathways to self-employment for women."

– Source: African News Agency (ANA)
The President of the Republic of South Sudan, Gen Salva Kiir Mayardit, was recently on a Working Visit to South Africa.
The Working Visit afforded President Mayardit an opportunity to pay a courtesy call to President Ramaphosa where they engaged on bilateral and regional issues.

The bilateral relations between the two countries are conducted under the General Cooperation Agreement of 21 September 2011, which entails the following areas of cooperation: Agriculture/Agri-Business; Water; Education; Infrastructure Development; Transport; Mining; Energy; Electricity; Oil and Gas.

The Working Visit also afforded the two leaders an opportunity to discuss the progress made thus far in relation to the implementation of the Revitalised-Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

In this context, Deputy President David Mabuza, in his capacity as the Special Envoy of President Ramaphosa to the Republic of South Sudan, has been co-facilitating a series of meetings of the parties to the R-ARCSS in conjunction with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.

The focus of these consultative meetings has largely been on the resolution of the number of states and their boundaries, as one of sticking points towards the formation of the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU).

South Africa will continue to support and remains committed to the South Sudanese Peace Process in its entirety, and stands in solidarity with the people of South Sudan in their quest to ultimately find lasting peace.

South Africa will continue to encourage all relevant stakeholders to adhere to all the pre-transitional requirements and fully implement the R-ARCSS. South Africa remains confident that the parties will find common ground to form the RTGoNU.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated the team of South African Grade 11 learners, who have won the Fifth International School Moot Court Competition in Gdynia, Poland.
President Ramaphosa said the learners’ victory was an achievement to be celebrated by all South Africans.

“Team South Africa has made our country proud again and our learners’ triumph demonstrates that when learners, educators and parents work together, we can achieve great things,” said the President.

The human rights-centred contest saw Team South Africa defeat Team USA in the final round after earlier wins against competitors from Bulgaria, Romania, Mongolia, St Maarten and Venezuela.

The contest simulated litigation before an international tribunal under the moot fact: “Scene of Conflict over the Past Decade in Tabanath".

Since 2014, Team South Africa has won this competition on three occasions before the most recent victory.

Team members for 2020 were Sureshka Naidoo and Caitlin Schwarer of Eden College; Nondumiso Ntshangase and Nosipho Dube of Mathubesizwe High School in KwaZulu-Natal; Mihlali Precious Stotile and Ondele Bede of Holy Cross; and Okhela Sigwela and Lizalise Dlomo of Hudson Park High School in the Eastern Cape.

Team South Africa was chosen from a great number of contestants who participated in the national schools moot court competition in September 2019. The contest produced a high level of research and public presentation by learners from a broad range of schools and backgrounds.

“This victory also tells us that our schools are effective in preparing young South Africans for life beyond the classroom and beyond the borders of our country.

This should inspire all of us to work even harder to secure better education outcomes for all learners across our country,” said the President.

– Source:
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, on Monday, 3 February 2020, hosted the Foreign Minister of The Netherlands, Stef Blok, for the inaugural meeting of the South Africa-Netherlands JCC.
The JCC is aimed at strengthening and expanding cooperation in line with the priorities of the two governments, particularly in the areas of agriculture and water management. The two ministers also exchanged views on issues that are on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council.

South Africa and The Netherlands have a strong and historical relationship. Bilateral trade reached R60 billion in 2019 and The Netherlands is an important international investor in the South African economy. The Netherlands also provides support to South Africa in areas in which it is a world leader such as logistic and water management.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, on Monday, 3 February 2020, embarked on a “back-to-school” outreach in Mookgopong, Limpopo.
The event, held under the theme, “Supporting the Change that Education Brings into the Lives of Children”, was aimed at encouraging learners to prioritise their education, one of government’s key priorities.

Deputy Minister Mashego-Dlamini said South Africa’s success in global political and economic affairs was dependent on its ability to produce an educated and skilled workforce. The Deputy Minister informed the learners about South Africa’s roles and responsibilities in international affairs.
The South African Mission in China has called on travellers to register their presence in China to provide an accurate figure of the number of South Africans in that country.
The call comes as South Africa continues to keep a close watch on developments in China following the declaration of the novel Coronavirus outbreak as a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO) last week.

Giving an update on developments, the Health Department said the registration of travellers was on a voluntary basis.

The Health Department said it received a report from the South African Mission in China, which gave a situational update of the state of affairs in the Asian country.

“The report has been reassuring in that it outlines in detail the steps that have been taken by the Mission itself, the People’s Republic of China and the international community, including the private sector, in managing the outbreak and the adverse socio-economic sequelae thereof,” said the Health Ministry in a statement.

Within China, limited movement remains important. As a result, the Chinese school holidays have been extended to keep children at home. Government has also encouraged businesses to be more flexible about working hours and it has encouraged working from home as far as possible.

“We have been notified of 34 students, who recently graduated in Hubei Province and are currently unable to leave due to the province currently being under lockdown.

“However, due to the extension of the holidays and China’s commitments to supporting embassies and their respective citizens during the lockdown period, we remain confident that our students will be well taken care of, until such time they may be allowed to exit Hubei Province,” said the Ministry.

The Health Department reiterated that to date, no South Africans in China had been reported to have contracted the virus.

According to the report from the South African Mission, very careful attention is being paid to food security and logistics to ensure residents of Wuhan City and Hubei Province do not run out of food and basic essentials.

Since the start of the outbreak, organisations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Boeing, Dell, Apple, L’Oreal and others have donated supplies, which range from face masks and other personal protection equipment, to funds that will go into research to develop a vaccine.

“This is the expected outcome of the WHO Declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and so we are very pleased to see multilateral collaboration at this level.

“We would also like to congratulate the Japanese Government for its strength in supporting the Chinese Government. There are also thousands of volunteers who have donated their time and services to the cause,” said the Health Department.

"To date, there is no proven medicine or vaccine against the Coronavirus.

"We are in close communication with the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, which continues to advise us on developments in the treatment of Coronavirus, based on sound academic literature.

“African countries outside of South Africa will make their own pronouncements on their response to the Coronavirus and we expect that should there be a confirmed case, we will hear from the affected country’s authorities or the WHO,” said the department.

Anyone who experiences flu-like symptoms, with a travel history or contact with someone who has travelled, particularly to China, should seek immediate medical attention at their nearest clinic, GP or hospital.

The Emergency Operation Centre remains activated.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has also established a hotline service in the South African Embassy in Beijing +85 135 0105 9041 and Shanghai +86 159 0045 4282 for South African nationals based in Wuhan City, China.

– Source:
South Africa on Saturday, 1 February 2020, began the process of establishing its new National Governing Council (NGC) of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

Public Service and Administration Minister, Senzo Mchunu, in his capacity as the APRM Focal Point for South Africa, will preside over the process that will lead the roll-out plan of the second review process of the country.

The formation of the NGC will pave the way preparing for the country’s second Generation Review taking off from next month.

Once established, the new NGC will be expected to lead the country’s self-assessment process and ensure its credibility and ultimately produces the Country Self-Assessment Report (CSAR) in the end of the process for the APRM.

The NGC structure is at the core of the functioning and success of the country’s APRM, as its key role is to mobilise and ensure participation of all stakeholders and citizens in general to the APRM processes.

The structure comprises representatives and key stakeholders from government, civil society, private sector, marginalised communities and organisations representing women, youth and people with disabilities.

The APRM statute demands that member states set up the NGC as a national structure that will, among others, ensure the strategic functioning of the APRM at national level and provide strategic policy guidance for its implementation, and ensure that the country review process is technically competent, credible and free from political manipulation.

This also includes leading the APRM sensitisation programmes countrywide and ensure that all stakeholders participate in the process and own it, as well as ensuring that all the concerns outlined in the self-assessment reports and in the country review reports are addressed in its National Programmes of Action.

The role of the Minister as the Focal Point of the APRM is to provide leadership, and ensure that all APRM processes are conducted according to the values and principles of the APRM.

Central to these principles is to ensure broad-based participation of the stakeholders across South Africa.

Also, next month, South Africa takes over Chairpersonship of the Committee of Focal Points of the APRM programme from the Republic of Chad, a continental ministerial platform for all 40 APRM participating member states. This means that Minister Mchunu will play a leading role in advancing the agenda to improve governance on the continent.

– Source:

The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, officially opened the 26th Annual Investing in Africa Mining Indaba in Cape Town on 3 February 2020.
Team South Africa assured current and potential investors of stability, regulatory certainty, rule of law as well as promoted new investment opportunities that the country has to offer.

The Mining Indaba is the world’s largest gathering of mining’s most influential stakeholders and decision-makers vested in African mining.
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) says South Africa’s trade relationship with the United Kingdom (UK) continues unchanged after the UK left the European Union (EU).
“South Africa has been notified by the EU that in terms of the Withdrawal Agreement concluded and ratified between the EU and the UK, during the transitional period, the UK will be treated as a member state of the union for the purposes of international agreements concluded by the union, or by member states acting on behalf of the union, or by the union and its member states jointly,” said the dti.

The UK left the EU on 31 October 2019 in what is widely known as Brexit (British exit from the EU).

The transitional period is set to end on 31 December 2020, but can be extended on agreement between the EU and UK.

South Africa’s trade with the UK currently takes place under the terms of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

The EPA between the SADC EPA member states and the EU entered into force on 10 October 2016.

Trade and Industry Minister, Ebrahim Patel, said during the transitional period provided for in the UK Withdrawal Agreement, the trade between South Africa and the UK would continue unchanged under the SADC-EU EPA.

“South African exporters can plan ahead with confidence in the period ahead. Their legal and regulatory arrangements remain stable and in place, as it was during the period that the UK was part of the EU.

“The UK remains one of South Africa’s key trading partners. In 2018, the UK was the fourth-largest destination for South African exports, with bilateral trade between the two countries amounting to more than R140 billion,” said Minister Patel.

To avoid the disruption to South Africa’s exports, once the UK exits the EU and the SADC-EU EPA does not apply to the UK any longer, South Africa and five other countries, namely: Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and eSwatini as well as Mozambique, engaged with the UK over a two-year period following the announcement of the UK’s intention to leave the EU.


A new agreement, which is known as the SACUM [South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini, as well as Mozambique]-UK Economic Partnership Agreement, was agreed between the parties in September 2019.

The SACUM-UK EPA effectively retains the terms of trade present in the existing SADC-EU EPA, and will govern the bilateral trading relationship between each of the SACUM countries and the UK in the event that the SADC-EU EPA no longer applies to the UK after December 2020.

Minister Patel said the SACUM-UK EPA would enable South African businesses to continue to export their products to the UK market and protect South African jobs once the SADC-EU EPA ceases to apply to the UK.

“The preferential market access contained in the SADC-EU EPA was transposed into SACUM-UK EPA. However, additional market access was agreed for South Africa in regard to 13 agricultural products, including wine and sugar, in the form of new volumes in relation to the Tariff Rate Quotas contained in the EPA with the EU,” said Minister Patel.

The UK is South Africa’s fourth-largest market for exports, behind China, Germany and the United States, and it is the seventh-largest supplier of imported goods.

It is estimated that South Africa’s exports to the UK support 56 500 direct jobs and a further 117 500 indirect jobs, bringing the total number of jobs supported by exports to the UK to nearly 175 000.

– Source:
Air Mauritius has announced plans to increase connectivity to Cape Town and Johannesburg, as early as April 2020.
The island remains a popular holiday and business destination for locals. The airline announced it's increased capacity plans during its annual Travel Oscar Awards to recognise its partners and their diligence.

“I am very excited to announce that Air Mauritius is working towards injecting new and additional capacity into Cape Town and Johannesburg, effective April 2020. We have established both Leisure and Corporate value propositions, offering more value for money so that travel becomes more accessible,” said Carla da Silva, Air Mauritius Regional General Manager:  Africa and Latin America.

– Source:
Online search engine Google honoured the late South African child AIDS activist Nkosi Johnson with a Google doodle on Tuesday, 4 February 2020.
Nkosi was born on 4 February 1989 and would have turned 31 this year. Johnson died of AIDS-related complications on 1 June, 2001 at the age of 12.

At the time, Nkosi was South Africa's longest-surviving HIV-positive-born child.

Nkosi is remembered as an AIDS activist who challenged the South African Government's AIDS policies at the time and united millions of South Africans in the fight against the disease.

According to Nkosi's Haven, he was posthumously awarded the first KidsRights Foundation's international Children's Peace Prize in Rome in November 2001 for his efforts in support of the rights of children with HIV/AIDS, and his legacy continues to live on through Nkosi's Haven, which houses and supports HIV-positive mothers and children.

Nkosi rose to international prominence in July 2000 when he delivered his self-written address, televised worldwide, to 10 000 delegates at the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban.

"Hi, my name is Nkosi Johnson," he began. "I am 11 years old and I have full-blown AIDS. I was born HIV-positive.

"Care for us and accept us – we are all human beings," he said at the conclusion of his speech.

"We are normal. We have hands. We have feet. We can walk, we can talk, we have needs just like everyone else. Don't be afraid of us – we are all the same."

In October 2000, he took the same message to an AIDS conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States.

Reacting to Nkosi's death in 2001, former President Nelson Mandela said Nkosi was an example to people having to deal with a disease of this nature.

Google said on Tuesday: "Today's doodle honours the life and legacy of a voice of change heard by millions around the world.

"Audiences around the world heard his speeches, which helped destigmatise the global perspective on those affected by the disease. Together with Gail, they established Nkosi's Haven, an NGO still active today that provides a safe home and healthcare for families affected by AIDS."

– Source:
Sho Madjozi and Moonchild Sanelly conquered the stage with DJ Diplo at BUDX Miami, during the Super Bowl LIV weekend.
The "Huku" and "My Power" stars were kings of creativity as they brought the spirit of Africa to BUDX, Miami Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, 2 February, blowing the audience away with electrifying performances, including surprise guest features with Diplo.

Known for her high-energy dancing and colourful Xitsonga-inspired outfits such as the Tinguvu skirt, the "Wakanda Forever" rapper had a stand-out performance on the night on a line-up that included global superstars The Black Eyed Peas, Diplo and Halsey.

Later in the evening, the African creative takeover continued to dominate with Moonchild Sanelly performing an impromptu set with Diplo, getting the crowd on their feet to her self-styled future Afro-punk sounds and cheeky, engaging performance.

– Source:
To celebrate the CTIJF's 21st anniversary, event organisers of Africa's Grandest Gathering have slashed ticket prices to make the festival even more accessible.
The 2020 edition takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 27 to 28 March 2020.

Weekend passes cost just R999, a saving of R291 compared to the 2019 prices, and R649 for a day pass, a saving of R201.

The CTIJF hospitality packages are also on sale, with two-day festival experiences starting from R2 999 (excluding VAT).

The star-studded festival will see some of the world’s most acclaimed musicians take to the stage to celebrate 21 years of Africa’s Grandest Gathering, including PJ Morton, Jacob Collier, Abdullah Ibrahim, Jonathan Butler – with  special guest Candy Dulfer, Kwetu Trio (featuring Aaron Rimbui, Herbie Tsoaeli and  Ayanda Sikade), Lira, Mandisi Dyantyis, MF Robots and Nduduzo Makhathini.

Another highlight of the festival is the Free Community Concert on Greenmarket Square, which has been attended by more than 162 000 since its inception 12 years ago.

With an economic contribution of almost R700 million in 2019, the impact of the festival reaches far beyond the music industry, said Festival Director Billy Domingo.

“Over 20 unforgettable years, we have brought artists of only the highest calibre to Cape Town. With our experience in providing a platform for jazz excellence, festinos can expect an unforgettable celebration with only the finest performances at the 2020 Festival. Festinos have discovered some amazing musical talents at CTIJF over the years, and we will continue to bring the very best talent to Cape Town for our 21st celebration,” Domingo said.

Official sponsors of the 21st annual CTIJF are the Department of the Arts and Culture, Heart 104.9 FM, Independent Media, AYO Technologies  Solutions, Engen, Scottish Leader, Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages, SAB ABInbev, Raymond Weil and Host City – the City of Cape Town.

– Source:
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