Issue 413 | 13 February 2020
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State of the Nation Address, Cape Town, South Africa, 13 February 2020
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“Let us build the Africa we want. Let the guns be silenced. Let our swords be beaten to ploughshares, and our spears turned into pruning hooks. It is the actions we take from this day onwards that will determine our continent’s destiny,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa.
With these words, the President highlighted South Africa’s focus for the African Union (AU) Chairship, which he assumed on Sunday, 9 February 2020, during the first day of the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Ramaphosa took over the Chairship of the AU from President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

South Africa first chaired the AU 18 years ago in 2002, at the official launch of the union in Durban, South Africa.

Convened under the theme, “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”, South Africa’s 2020 Chairship of the AU coincides with its Chairship of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSGCC).

President Ramaphosa further highlighted key priorities of the term as supporting integration, economic development, trade and investment in the continent; infrastructure development; advancing gender equality; strengthening cooperation between the AU and United Nations (UN); promoting peace and security; and advancing efforts to silence the guns on the African continent and elsewhere.

He reaffirmed the principle of finding African solutions to African problems as the fundamental approach to addressing all conflicts on the continent, working within the frameworks of the AU and UN.

He further called on the AU to continue to support the just struggles of oppressed people elsewhere in the world. He reiterated unwavering support for the people of Palestine in the legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign state, and the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination.

“The African continent is on the ascent. It is indeed a regeneration moral and eternal, as described by the South African revolutionary Pixley Isaka Seme.

“If we pursue our objectives with diligence and determination, and mobilise our fellow African countries to support them, I am certain that ours can be a meaningful, effective and impactful Union. Let us build the Africa we want,” said the President.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa, as the new chairperson of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), has called on more members of the African Union to join.
President Ramaphosa assumed the Chairship of the APRM, a self-assessment and monitoring tool of the African continent, on Saturday, 8 February 2020.

He also called on existing members to implement the recommendations of their reports.

“We must continue to encourage countries that have undergone the review process to implement the recommendations contained in their National Plan of Action.

“These recommendations are key in achieving the much needed impact on our continent. Unless they are executed, the reviews will not translate into tangible action at a country level,” said the President.

Established in 2003, the APRM is a specialised agency of the African Union. It serves as a platform for sharing experiences and reinforcing best practices towards political stability, accelerated economic growth, regional and continental integration, as well as sustainable development. It further seeks to foster change in underlying deficiencies in governance and socio-economic development processes among member states.

As Chairperson, President Ramaphosa will serve a term of two years, from 2020 to 2022.

The President’s Chairship coincides with his Chairship of the AU, which he assumed during the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Ramaphosa assumes the Chairship of the APRM at a critical time following the recent expansion of its mandate to include the monitoring of the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals.

The 32nd Summit resolved that all members reposition the APRM at the centre of continental efforts to deepen democracy and good governance.

Initially established as a mutually agreed instrument to which member states could voluntarily accede, the APRM has 37 members to date.

Accepting the Chairship, President Ramaphosa echoed the goal of the assembly to achieve universal accession to the APRM by 2023.

The President further called for more members to join the mechanism in order to jointly “pursue innovations that will catalyse the positive transformation of the continent”.

The APRM carries out, in fulfilment of its mandate, four types of country reviews. The base review is undertaken once a country joins the APRM. Thereafter, a periodic review is carried out every four years, and member countries may also request a review outside of the mandate review.

The 29th Session of the APRM received for the first time targeted reviews, which are commissioned by the APRM. These included targeted reviews on youth unemployment in the Republic of Namibia, fiscal decentralisation in the Republic of Djibouti, and the contribution of tourism to the economy of Zambia. A country review report was also tabled on the United Arab Republic of Egypt.

– Source:
South African business people are upbeat about a trade and investment mission to West Africa.
The Director of Basils Business Opportunists, Basil Phupha, said the trip would provide his company with an excellent opportunity to expand its market to West Africa.

“We are currently exporting our agro-processing equipment to neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Lesotho. We are determined to find companies in Ghana and Nigeria that can import our products and distribute them in the two countries and the rest of the sub-region,” said Phupha.

The Bloemfontein-based company is optimistic that the Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) Outward Trade and Investment Mission will assist it to tap into the Ghanaian and Nigeria markets.

Basils Business Opportunists is part of a delegation of local companies that departed for West Africa on Sunday, 9 February 2020, to participate in the Outward Trade and Investment Mission (OTIM).

The OTIM is funded by the dti through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme, whose objective is to develop export markets for South African products and services.

Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina said the objective of the mission was to increase bilateral trade and investment between South Africa and the two West African countries.

Managing Director of AET Africa, Sandiswa Qayi, who participated in last year’s West Africa OTIM, said the trip was beneficial for her company.

“Those trips were very valuable for our company, in that I managed to establish good contacts and generated promising leads that will probably see us exporting our products or technology to the two countries.

"This mission could not have come at a more opportune time, as I have set up meetings with the companies that I met last year to discuss the way forward, as well as follow up with potential customers that I shared samples with,” she said.

AET Africa manufactures high quality energy efficiency and clean technology products.

FAM Technologies, a company that manufactures agricultural processing equipment, is also seeking to expand its footprint.

“Our objective is to penetrate the West African market and expand our footprint, as we have already exported our products to countries such as Namibia, Botswana, the United Kingdom and Canada. We are positive that the trip will yield positive results for our company,” said the company’s Director Louis Grobler.

The trade mission to Accra in Ghana and Lagos in Nigeria will include trade and investment seminars, business-to-business meetings as well as site visits.

The OTIM will conclude on Friday, 14 February 2020.

– Source:
Zozi's tour includes stops in Johannesburg, Eastern Cape, and Cape Town.
Zozibini arrived at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Saturday, 8 February 2020.

Her welcome included a performance by the Soweto Gospel Choir and saw the Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Makhotso Sotyu, as well as the current Miss SA Sasha-Lee Olivier in attendance.

Fans who attended the welcome at the airport were able to travel free of charge via the Gautrain from Pretoria, Midrand, Marlboro and Park Stations.

For the next leg of her tour, Zozi returned to her hometown of Tsolo in the Eastern Cape. She arrived at her village on Saturday afternoon on a colourful float, draped in the colours of the South African flag.

"While I have been in New York, I have longed for two things: sunshine and the voices of African people raised in song. I cannot wait to be part of the celebration – Eastern Cape style – that is being planned," Zozibini was quoted as saying.

Monday, 10 February, saw Zozibini visit her former primary school, Canaan Academy, along with her mother. She was welcomed by Grade One and Two learners from the school.

On the evening of Thursday, 13 February, Zozibini will be in Cape Town "where she will be the personal guest of President Cyril Ramaphosa as he gives his State of the Nation Address in Parliament."

Cape Town residents will get their chance to see Zozi on Friday, 14 February, when she tours the streets of the Mother City.

– Source:
Balwin Properties has announced plans for a new R9-billion development in Waterfall, Midrand in Johannesburg.
The development – called Munyaka – features a massive crystal-clear lagoon with apartments designed to be just metres from the waterfront.

Balwin said it planned to sell one, two and three-bedroom apartments which are fibre-ready, includes a Scandinavian style kitchen, free eco-friendly appliances, a balcony for outdoor entertaining, and pre-paid water and electricity meters.

Construction of the lagoon, boundary wall, gatehouse, lifestyle centre and show apartment block has already commenced with the balance of apartments being rolled out over the next eight years.

Munyaka, which translates to “Crystal” in Venda, is set to be the crown jewel in our development portfolio,” said Steve Brookes, founder and chief executive of Balwin Properties.

“We have worked very closely with our architects to bring something exceptional to South African sectional title buyers and believe that it will not only set a new standard for lifestyle estate living in Waterfall, but indeed in the country.”

Brookes said that Balwin was further investing significantly in road infrastructure around Munyaka, having already completed a new road at a cost in excess of R100 million.

The Blyde

Munyaka’s development follows the success of The Blyde in Pretoria East, the site of the first Crystal Lagoon amenity in sub-Sahara Africa.

Balwin said it concluded an exclusivity agreement with Crystal Lagoons for South Africa, which will see the company develop freshwater lagoons in six strategic nodes in Johannesburg, Pretoria, the Dolphin Coast, the Western Cape and Mbombela.

Crystal Lagoons is a multi-national company with offices worldwide and has developed an innovative concept and technology, patented in 190 countries, allowing for the construction and maintenance of unlimited size bodies of water, in crystal-clear conditions, at low cost.

– Source:
Victoria Falls, Kruger, Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti made the top 20 list of the World's Most Instagrammed National Parks.

Recent analysis done by Faraway Garden Furniture looked at hashtags to reveal which parks were tagged the most on Instagram. The admission fees for each park was also analysed, ascertaining if there was a correlation between the most tagged and the most expensive.

Africa has four parks on the list, including Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and the Tanzanian part of the Serengeti.

The most expensive National Park in the world is the Galapagos ($100), which, despite it being so expensive, came in at 8th position.

Here is the top 20 list with the amount of hashtags:

1. Yosemite (US) - 4 067 845
2. Grand Canyon (US) - 3,859,864
3. Lake District (UK) - 2 662,538
4. Rocky Mountain (US) - 2 343 245
5. Yellowstone (US) - 2 109 660
6. Peak District (UK) - 1 342 240
7. Kruger National Park (SA) - 1 106 004
8. Galapagos (ECU) - 1 018 355
9. Sequoia (US) - 979 681
10. Snowdonia (UK) - 844 124
11. New Forest (UK) - 662 274
12. Komodo (INDO) - 629 083
13. Serengeti (TANZ) - 618 052
14. Kilimanjaro (TANZ) - 493 550
15. Guilin and Lijiang River (CHINA) - 398 616
16. Uluru (AU) - 392 500
17. Victoria Falls (ZA) - 234 495
18. Fiordland (NZ) - 167 678
19. Swiss (SUI) - 44 523
20. Los Glaciares (ARG) - 30 531

– Source: www.news24

Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal in their Match in Africa exhibition at Cape Town Stadium on Friday evening, 7 February 2020.
Federer won the three-set contest 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

The match started with the crowd in high spirits, with Springbok World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi making a surprise entrance on court to do the pre-game coin toss.

Kolisi handed Federer a Springbok jersey with the Swiss star's name embroidered on the back, with the 20-time Grand Slam winner wearing it during his warm-up.

Earlier, in the doubles curtain raiser, Federer teamed up with Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, to defeat Nadal and South African comedian Trevor Noah 6-3 in a one-set shootout.

After the match, organisers confirmed the official attendance figure as 51 954 - a world record crowd for a tennis match, breaking the record set in November 2019 when Federer defeated Germany's Alexander Zverev in Mexico City in front of 42 517 fans.

It was the sixth instalment of exhibition matches for Federer's foundation.

To date, the foundation has raised over US$52 million in support of educational and athletics programmes for children in Africa.

– Source:
“South Africa welcomes the President of the State of Palestine, H.E. President Mahmoud Abbas, to the Security Council and thanks him for his impassioned statement as well as the statements of Secretary-General Guterres and his Special Coordinator for the Middle East, Mr Nicolay Mladenov.

“Mr President,

“South Africa is grateful to you for scheduling this meeting today. This meeting has allowed us an opportunity to hear from President Abbas who has articulated the voice of the people of occupied Palestine.  A people, who for decades have struggled for their right to self-determination and for the recognition of their basic human rights in an asymmetrical environment while living under occupation.

“The meeting today, rightfully amplifies the voice of the Palestinians who tend to be ignored when their own destiny is being decided upon.

“The UN Security Council held its first meeting on the matter of Palestine at its 222nd meeting on 9 December 1947. In the over 72 years since, we have unfortunately not progressed in resolving this matter as the views and aspirations of the Palestinian people have been ignored.

“In the face of this existential threat, the Palestinian people have once again sought to come to this Council to set out their substantive legal and political case. It is our responsibility, as the body tasked with international peace and security, to take on this responsibility and assist both the Palestinians and Israelis in this quest.

“Mr President,

“South Africa notes the recent developments that have brought renewed focus and attention to this decades’ long conflict which arises out of occupation, and which has been lagging in recent years. Unfortunately this recent initiative, by the Palestinians’ own admission, does not take into account the substantive views and aspirations of the Palestinian people.

“It is only initiatives developed with the full participation of all parties, specifically the Palestinians themselves, that lasting peace and stability can be achieved. A genuine, inclusive and open dialogue, where both parties are at the table, can be the only means to resolve this current impasse. Peace cannot be imposed and can only be premised on a mutually accepted and just solution.

“It has been universally acknowledged, in this Council and in other international fora that the only way peace can be established between Israel and Palestine, is through direct negotiations between the parties to end the occupation. The Security Council must support the necessary environment for Israel and Palestine to come together, as equals, to resume the peace process.

“Mr President,

"Peace initiatives aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must conform to internationally endorsed terms of reference and parameters that have been agreed upon, including the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Plan, the Quartet Peace Plan and resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council, including resolutions 242, 338 and 2334.

“Flagrant violations of international law at the expense of what is deemed political reality or expediency, undermines the rule of just law and the global multilateral system that has developed over the last 75 years since the end of the Second World War.

“Mr President,

"South Africa’s position on the question of Palestine is clear.  We have consistently called for a peaceful, negotiated settlement to the question of Palestine and continue to support international efforts aimed at the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, existing side by side in peace with Israel within internationally recognised borders, based on those existing on 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in line with all relevant UN resolutions, international law and internationally agreed parameters.

“This is in line with the sentiments of the African Union Summit, which has just concluded in Addis Ababa, where AU leaders reaffirmed the Continent’s solidarity with the people of Palestine for their inalienable right to self-determination.

“South Africa maintains its principled position that any peace plan should not allow Palestinian statehood to devolve into an entity devoid of sovereignty, territorial contiguity and economic viability. Doing so would severely compound the failure of previous peace-making efforts, accelerate the demise of the two-state option and fatally damage the cause of durable peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

“Any solution must therefore be premised on a just settlement with just laws that is rights based and that facilitates equality and equity for all who have a right to live in the territories of Israel and Palestine. This includes the sovereign equality between states.

“Consequently, all final status issues, including illegal Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem, and the right of refugees to return to their homeland, must be in line with international law.

“Mr President,

"The 11th of February is a historic day in South Africa’s history and indeed the history of the oppressed globally for it is on this day, 30 years ago that Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years in captivity.

“His release and eventual election to the highest office as President of a united and democratic South Africa demonstrated that, what for some had seemed to be intractable and unrealistic, was solvable. May this be a lesson in finding peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

“I thank you.”
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