Issue 419 | 19 March 2020
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Corona Virus 24-Hour Hotline for South African citizens
Human Rights Month, March 2020
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a raft of unprecedented interventions to curb the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa, including closing schools from Wednesday, 18 March 2020, closing 35 ports of entry and imposing a travel ban on foreign nationals from countries hardest hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The measures were the outcome of an emergency Cabinet meeting held on Sunday, 15 March 2020, in Pretoria.

In a live broadcast on television, radio and online platforms, President Ramaphosa said the interventions were aimed at protecting South African citizens and the economy and reducing the impact of what he said was a medical emergency far graver than what has been experienced in over a century.

By Sunday, the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the country had risen to 61, an increase of 10 from the figure released earlier in the day by the Department of Health. Globally, 162 000 people had tested positive for Coronavirus and around 5 000 people had died.

“This number is expected to rise in the coming days and weeks. Initially, it was people who had travelled into the country, especially from Italy. It is concerning that we are now dealing with internal transmission of the virus,” he said.

The situation, the President said, called for an extraordinary response and no half measures.

During the Cabinet meeting, the virus was declared a national disaster to enable government to have an integrated and coordinated disaster mechanism that will focus on preventing and reducing the outbreak.

During this period, there should be limited contact between people who may be infected and South Africans.

Limiting travel

The travel ban was imposed from 18 March on foreign citizens who came from Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, United States (US), Germany, United Kingdom (UK) and China. “We have cancelled visas to visitors from those countries from today. Previously granted visas have been revoked,” he said.

South Africans have been advised to refrain from all forms of travel to or through the European Union, the US, UK and other high-risk areas.

“This is effective immediately,” he said.

Additionally, any foreign national who has visited any of the high-risk countries in the past 20 days will be denied a visa. South African citizens returning from these countries will be subjected to testing and self-isolation or quarantine on return.

“Travellers from medium-risk countries such as Portugal, Hong Kong and Singapore will be required to undergo high intensity screening. All travellers who have entered South Africa from high-risk countries since mid-February will be required to hand themselves over for testing.

“We will strengthen screening and testing measures at the OR Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka international airports.”

Of the country’s 53 land ports of entry, the President announced that 35 would be shut down as of Monday, 16 March 2020. Two of the eight sea ports will be shut down too, for passengers and crew changing.

Effective immediately, all non-essential travel for all spheres of government outside of the country is prohibited.

Government has also discouraged all non-essential domestic travel, particularly by air, rail, taxis and bus.

Limited contact

“… It is essential therefore that we minimise the risk of the spread of this virus by limiting contact among groups of people,” he said.

“While we appreciate the economic, religious and cultural significance of social and community gatherings, the Coronavirus is spread through contact between persons.”

The President called for social distancing and said therefore gatherings of more than 100 people would be prohibited.

“Mass celebrations of upcoming national days such as Human Rights Day and other large government events will be cancelled. Where small gatherings are unavoidable, organisers will need to put in place stringent measures of prevention and control.

“Schools will be closed from Wednesday, 18 March, and will remain closed until after the Easter Weekend,” the President said. To compensate for this, mid-year school holidays will be shortened by a week.

Government is working closely with colleges, universities and other public facilities such as Parliament, prisons, police stations and military installations to intensify hygiene control.

Addressing reporters, the President also announced that visits to correctional centres had been suspended for 30 days from Sunday.

Measures and responses around institutes of higher learning were also announced.

President Ramaphosa also urged businesses to ensure necessary measures to intensify hygiene control.

“We also call on the management of malls, entertainment centres and other places frequented by large numbers of people to bolster their hygiene control,” he said.

Quarantine sites

To further boost the country’s health response, the President said, government was strengthening its surveillance and testing systems and was in the process of identifying isolation and quarantine sites in each district and metro.

“We are calling for a change of behaviour among all South Africans. We must minimise physical contact with other people and encourage the elbow greeting rather than shaking hands,” the President said.

Because of the severity of this virus and its rapid spreading, government will make funding available to capacitate the sectors dealing with the national response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

National Command Council

President Ramaphosa announced that he would be chairing a National Command Council that would include, among others, members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.

They will meet three times a week to coordinate all aspects of an extraordinary emergency response.

The President said the pandemic was anticipated to have dire effects on the country’s already waning economy. A dramatic decline in economic activity in major trading partners, a sudden drop in international tourism and severe instability across all global markets have already been recorded.

“This will have a potentially severe impact on production, the viability of businesses, job retention and job creation,” he said.

To soften the blow, Cabinet is in the process of finalising a comprehensive package of interventions to mitigate the expected impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

It is expected to consist of various fiscal and other measures that will be concluded following consultations.

Keeping South Africans safe

The President said government’s priority was to safeguard the health and well-being of South Africans, minimise infections and to ensure all those infected get proper treatment.

“While we are battling a contagious virus, perhaps the greatest dangers to our country at this time are fear and ignorance,” he said.

Despite the extent of the threat that this disease presents, the country should not be overwhelmed by fear and panic.

“This epidemic will pass. But it is up to us to determine how long it will last, how damaging it will be and how long it will take our economy and our country to recover.

“It is true that we are facing a grave emergency. But, if we act together, if we act now, and if we act decisively, we will overcome it,” said President Ramaphosa.

– Source:
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has issued a travel advisory in light of the announcement on 16 March 2020 by the Government declaring a State of National Disaster.
The State of National Disaster entails that restrictions on entry, movement and exit will be prescribed in regulations to be issued by the responsible ministers. As high- and medium-risk countries are identified and the status of countries changes, travel alerts will be issued to communicate such changes and the measures applicable.

South African citizens

South African citizens planning to travel or transit through the Italian Republic, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Spain, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the French Republic, the Swiss Confederation and the People’s Republic of China presently identified as high-risk countries, as well as the European Union, should refrain from doing so. This includes all forms of travel to or through identified high-risk countries. South African citizens are also to refrain from traveling on cruise ships due to the inherent risks involved in such travel as recent experiences have shown. This is effective immediately, until further notice. Non-essential travel to other countries should also be cancelled or postponed.

South African citizens returning from high-risk countries will be subjected to testing and self-isolation or quarantine on return to South Africa.

South African citizens should be aware that there are health risks when they travel and should check the travel and health notices for COVID-19 at their destinations. Increased health screening measures at ports of entry for international destinations, which may include entry requirements, border closures, flight suspensions and quarantines, can be expected.

South African citizens should contact the South African Mission/Consulate in the country of their destination, to inform them of their presence in the country and provide them with information such as contact details, duration of stay, etc.

Foreign travellers

All entry, regardless of compliance with visa requirements, of foreign travellers with ordinary passports, travelling from or transiting through high-risk countries presently identified as the Italian Republic, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Spain, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the French Republic, the Swiss Confederation and the People’s Republic of China is prohibited until further notice. No applications for visas by foreign travellers from high-risk countries will be approved. Visas already issued are revoked with immediate effect for travellers who have not yet entered South Africa.

Visa waiver agreements with countries identified by the Department of Health as high- and medium-risk will be suspended from dates that will be advised through travel alerts.

Any foreign national who has visited high-risk countries in the past 20 days will be denied a visa.

Any foreign national affected by these travel restrictions who needs to travel to South Africa for emergency or compelling reasons may contact the nearest South African mission or consulate to apply for a visa. Such visa applications will be considered on merit and on a case-by-case basis.

The above restrictions exclude holders of diplomatic passports and travel documents issued by international organisations as well as their family members accredited to the Republic of South Africa, and holders of official/service passports. The travel restrictions will also not apply to the crew members of aircraft and cargo ships, as well as cross-border rail and road transportation workers. However, such travellers will be subjected to medical screening and if required, can be isolated or quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days.

All international travellers

All international travellers, including South African citizens, entering South Africa will be required to complete and submit the prescribed Health Form and hand it to Health officials and Immigration officers upon arrival.

All travellers will be subjected to medical screening for COVID-19 upon entering South Africa and if required, can be isolated or quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. Over and above the normal immigration requirements, entry into South Africa is subject to a passenger’s cooperation with officials conducting tests.

Travellers from medium-risk countries as identified by the South African Department of Health will be required to undergo high-intensity screening.

All travellers who have entered South Africa from high-risk countries since 15 February 2020 will be required to present themselves for testing.

South Africa has placed restrictions on attendance of international meetings. All organisers or attendees of international meetings are strongly advised to confirm whether attendance will be permitted before travelling to South Africa.

For any inquiries related to this Travel Advisory, contact the 24-hours operations centre of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation at +27 12 351 1000. Information is also available on the website of the Department at
"Our primary objective at this moment is to ensure that the economy does not grind to a halt," Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, said on Monday, 16 March 2020, amid concerns over the rising number of Coronavirus cases in the country.
Minister Mboweni joined other Cabinet ministers who detailed the work that would be undertaken by their respective departments in combating the global pandemic. In South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has already declared COVID-19 as a national disaster and has imposed travel bans on foreigners travelling from European countries and the United Kingdom, among others.

And as markets across the world have been grappling with the slow economic downturn attributed to the virus, Minister Mboweni said his ministry would be consulting with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, including banks and insurance companies.
"Banks are critical for the economy system. They provide mortgage bonds etc... A conversation needs to be had on what to do in a time of crisis", he said, adding lthat insurance companies have exclusions in their policy covers on matters concerning pandemics, and while they can't force or compel them to do away with the exclusions, they would have conversations with them.

In addition, Minister Mbweni indicated that funds to combat the virus had been set aside.

"As the situation develops, we will need to set aside further funds and reduce programmes (at various departments) so that we can shift those funds toward this goal that we are all committed to achieve," he said.
Meanwhile, the Competition Commission has been roped in to ensure that there are no food price increases over the next few months.

Economic Development Minister, Ebrahim Patel, met with Nedlac, the business community and unions on Monday afternoon to ensure there is no stockpiling of items that will inadvertently create panic among consumers.

– Source:
A National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) meeting has endorsed various interventions aimed at containing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its impact on the South African economy.
The message emerged from a special Executive Council meeting of Nedlac convened to discuss a common programme to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus, on Monday, 16 March 2020.

Over 60 leaders from organised business, labour, government and community attended the meeting. The Ministers of Labour; Trade, Industry and Competition; Finance; Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development; and their deputies were also in the meeting.

Nedlac, reads the statement, acknowledged that this situation was unprecedented and required an unprecedented response.

“The COVID-19 crisis will require the best traditions of social partnership to ensure that we contain the spread of the virus and make every effort to protect employment, earnings and industrial output,” said Trade, Industry and Competition Minister, Ebrahim Patel.

Nedlac said the meeting agreed to work together to support President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for cooperation, collaboration and common action.

Enhancing public health response

This includes enhancing the public health response with social partners committing to intensify public health messages as well as implementing means of improving hygiene to curb the spread of the virus to workplaces and into communities, including through using national and local champions.

Regarding containing the virus, Nedlac recognised the importance of tracing contacts and testing to identify people who have contracted the virus.

“The social partners agreed to work together with the Department of Health to ensure that every single person who has been in contact with someone who has the virus is tracked, traced and monitored so that they can, if necessary, be requested to self-isolate or go into quarantine. There was also agreement on the need to make testing accessible,” read the statement.

Nedlac said it was critical to ensure the security of health supplies such as hand sanitisers, protective equipment for health professionals and stocks for testing and treatment as well as ARV and other chronic medicines is critical.

“The social partners committed to work together to fast track, support and address the constraints to the importation, manufacturing and distribution of health supplies and medical equipment. In this regard, the meeting condemned panic buying, which would put more and unnecessary pressures on supply chains,” said Nedlac.

Workplaces need to adapt

Nedlac added: “The message from the meeting was that it can’t be regarded as working as usual in this period. Workplaces will need to adapt in different ways to respond to the Covid-19 epidemic.”

During the meeting, employers and trade unions agreed to work together to manage issues like short time, shift work, changing working hours and lunch breaks to reduce too many workers congregating in one place. There was an acknowledgement that working from home and using online and technology platforms were important, where possible.

“It was recognised that in the medium term, some of these workplace adaptions can also lead to economic opportunities such as an increase in the use of electronic technology for workplace communication,” reads the statement.

The meeting also acknowledged that many economic sectors and especially small and medium enterprises will be severely affected by the epidemic and that workers should not be punished by a reduction of income due to factors outside of their control.

“Employers have a legal duty of care towards their employees,” said Employment and Labour Minister, Thulas Nxesi.

He indicated that the current occupational health and safety, unemployment insurance and compensation fund legislation provided for such circumstances, including special leave where unemployment insurance can be claimed and where compensation can be given if an employee contracts the virus at his/her workplace.

Additional measures

Government indicated that they were committed to a number of additional measures to support companies and their employees who become distressed due to the negative impact of the Covid-19 epidemic including the recently established Temporary Employee Employer Relief Scheme, administered jointly by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and Unemployment Insurance Fund. However, it was stressed that proper processes should be put in place so that these measures are not abused.

Thulani Tshufuta, representing the community constituency, stressed that there could be no place for stigmatisation and discrimination, as this would lead to workers and communities not coming forward about their symptoms of ill health.

Economic impact

Regarding macro-economic impact and potential interventions, government indicated it was monitoring the economic impact of the virus and noted suggestions made by the social partners regarding economic impact of this virus at a time when the economy was already stressed.

The meeting recognised that there were areas that needed more attention to develop mitigation measures – most pressing was ways to contain the epidemic spreading through public transport and the impact of school closures on school feeding schemes.

The meeting agreed unanimously that a Nedlac Response Team should be set up urgently to address this and take forward the other issues discussed above. In addition, organised business and labour were urged to embark on sector-specific engagements to give effect to the common commitments agreed.

– Source:
The 114 South Africans evacuated by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) from China’s COVID19-hit Wuhan City touched down in Polokwane, in Limpopo recently.
The group arrived shortly after 10:30am on a South African Airways (SAA) flight on Saturday, 14 March 2020. About 20 minutes after landing, the first passenger disembarked the aircraft and was swiftly escorted to one of the four especially equipped busses.

The South Africans, who have tested negative and not shown any symptoms of COVID19, were then driven to the Ranch Hotel, about 30 km away from the airport.

There is a heavy police and military presence in and around the hotel.

The first bus left the runway at 11.55am.

The South Africans will be under quarantine for 21 days at the Ranch Hotel.

The Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, said he was glad the repatriation had been a success.

Cabinet last month directed the departments of health, defence and international relations and cooperation to assist on a humanitarian basis to help bring back the students, teachers and citizens stuck in the city, which has been the epicentre of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“These people were there for work, business and study purposes. When the outbreak started, they were caught up in a lockdown where the whole region was closed down; you couldn’t leave the area.”

Initially, he said, government thought it was going to be for only a short time. “But after a while, we started having challenges because some of the students went on holiday and others started having anxiety and wanted to come back home,” said Minister Mkhize.

He said government was pleased with how the Chinese Government was handling the groups.

He further clarified that the group had never been treated for the virus and did not have the symptoms.

“All we are doing is just bringing them home,” he said, explaining that quarantining the group was just a precautionary measure by government to ensure that the group was indeed free of the illness.

Speaking to eNCA, Department of Health spokesperson, Popo Maja, said the 18-man crew who repatriated the South Africans from China would also be in quarantine at the Ranch Hotel.

“The crew is going to be quarantined as well, over and above the South Africans on board. Everybody who is on that flight will be quarantined.

“… Everyone who will be on the busses has maintained their seats. They will be given colour codes so when they get to the facility they can be directed to their rooms accordingly,” he said.

Health Deputy Minister, Joe Phaahla, in a recorded message, welcoming back the group to the country, said government was pleased the mission had been a success.

“We are excited that you are all back home. We have all been crossing our fingers hoping that everything will go well. We are excited to see that the plane has touched down, that you are moving into the hotel. We are optimistic that, indeed, despite the trying times, you will have a good time and complete your quarantine time and be reunited with your families. We wish you all the best,” he said.

In a written message, posted by Minister Mkhize, an evacuee thanked the rescue team for embarking on the mission.

“[We] can’t thank you enough for taking this beautiful huge risk. I’m sure some of your families disagreed with your decision but regardless of that you came to fetch us (sic),” said the unidentified evacuee. “I personally don’t have the words to thank all of you.

“We may not be able to pay you back for this but there’s someone above us who sees our work and bless us abundantly. We’re really happy to be home,” read the hand-written note. “Thank you for taking care of us. Your names will always be part of our history. May God bless you and your families.”

– Source:


South Africa will use its 2020 Chairship of the African Union (AU) to advance the economic integration of the continent and lead efforts to resolve conflicts in South Sudan, Libya, Somalia and the Sahel region.
The commitment was made by International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Candith Mashego-Dlamini, during a panel discussion on South Africa’s year-long tenure at the University of Venda on Friday, 13 March 2020.

South Africa assumed Chairship of the AU at the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU that convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 8 and 9 February 2020.

“Our key strategic objective in ascending to the chairship of the AU 2020 is to advance the economic integration of the continent through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and lead continental efforts aimed at resolving conflicts in South Sudan, Libya, Somalia and the Sahel region,” said the Deputy Minister.
South Africa’s goals for the African continent are the resolution of conflict and building a framework in which socio-economic development can take place.

She said socio-economic development could not take place without peace and stability, as these factors constituted the necessary conditions for the implementation of effective developmental programmes.

“Conversely, socio-economic development is necessary in the context of addressing the root causes of conflict and instability. While the above-mentioned countries are among the current flashpoints, our focus will extend to all conflict-ridden spaces on our continent,” she said.

The continent recently registering notable progress in the number of new democracies. Among these is the resolution of the border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 2019.
Despite this, Deputy Minister Mashego-Dlamini said, conflicts and political instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Libya and South Sudan continued unabated.

“Trends in conflict and violent events during 2019 have indicated an increase in the number of conflict actors and the transnational nature of threats and vulnerabilities,” Deputy Minister Mashego-Dlamini said.

She said: “We are concerned about the proliferation of rebel and extremist groups, bolder linkages between transnational organised crime and violent extremists in Africa and the Middle East, and a rise in the frequency and scale of riots and protests.

“Attacks by militants affiliated with the Islamic State in the northern Mozambique province of Cabo Delgado have raised concerns about an IS presence in new territories where it has drawn allegiance from local militant groups.”

Another area of focus in during its Chairship will see South Africa continue play its role in advancing a better Africa and a better world.

“With regard to trade matters, the nations of Africa took a decisive step to deepen integration in Africa through the signing of the AfCFTA, which came into effect on 30 May 2019.”

The AfCFTA, as one of the flagship projects of the AU Agenda 2063, aims to build an integrated market of over one billion people with a combined GDP of approximately US$3.3 trillion. It also aims to boost intra-Africa trade that currently stands at approximately 16% with Africa’s share of world trade estimated to be at only 3%.

The implementation of the AfCFTA is on track, with trading expected to come into effect on 1 July 2020.

“Africa is on a sustained growth path that is unprecedented. In recent years, Africa has enjoyed an above average rate of economic growth. This is phenomenal, given our struggling infrastructure, reliance on raw materials and political insecurity in certain hotspots. For infrastructure alone, the continent needs an estimated additional US$100 billion a year in investment,” said Deputy Minister Mashego-Dlamini.

There is no reason for Africa to not start to unleash its maximum economic growth potential in this century despite such challenges.

“The AfCFTA will play a key role in unlocking investments, both domestic and foreign. This should be done within the context of silencing the guns to ensure that the environment is secure and conducive to development,” she said.

– Source:
Tariff schedules related to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) must be finalised ahead of the implementation of the agreement in July, says Trade and Industry Deputy Minister, Fikile Majola.
Speaking at an economic policy dialogue on Friday, 13 March 2020, the Deputy Minister said the tariff schedule listing all products covered by the agreement for tariff liberalisation and the indispensable rules of origin must be finalised to ensure that the implementation date of 1 July 2020 is met.

Deputy Minister Majola told those attending the dialogue in Cape Town that the current administration had a responsibility to work with other African Union (AU) member states to finalise the detailed modalities.

This must be done in order to establish a platform on which the benefits of the AfCFTA can be derived for both South Africa and its African counterparts.

Deputy Minister Majola emphasised that there was a need to be ready to take full advantage of the opportunities that would become available in the ongoing implementation of AfCFTA Agreement.

“While this policy dialogue aims to discuss the AfCFTA with the intention of determining its bearing on South Africa, it is prudent to give a glimpse into the possible trade and economic spin-offs for our country.

“Though some opinion-makers indicate that the AfCFTA is very ambitious because of the many disparities between the countries’ development stages, especially relating to trade capabilities, infrastructure and administrative frameworks such as competition and intellectual property policies.

“Notwithstanding such deficiencies, we are confident that the potential benefits of the AfCFTA will be significant in increasing intra-Africa trade and foreign direct investment,” said Deputy Minister Majola.

The Deputy Minister also spoke about challenges facing trade on the African continent.

“Africa’s vulnerabilities and limited participation in global trade is a function of its traditional overdependence on the export of low-value raw materials and commodities, and the import of high-value manufactured goods and services.

“The continent’s full potential will remain unfulfilled, unless we address the challenges of poor infrastructure, small and fragmented markets, underdeveloped production structures and inadequate economic diversification.”

Friday’s session brought together stakeholders from organised business, chief executive officers, academia, organised labour, government departments and civil society.

Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC, David Maynier, said the dialogue provided the province with an opportunity to build on its ambition to become a key trading region for Africa.

“That is why we seek your and the business sector’s inputs so that we can better understand how to make it easier for you do business across Africa. That is why this dialogue between provincial and national governments and the business sector on the subject of the AfCFTA is going to be so important,” said the MEC.

The AfCFTA, which is expected to come into effect on 1 July 2020, was first conceptualised in January 2012 in Ethiopia.

– Source:
The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) shared an exciting announcement of something big happening soon.
There is an incredible new development at their Table View Centre in Cape Town.

They will be constructing a brand new visitor centre. This is SANCCOB’s newest capital project to fundraise for in 2020. Last year, they successfully fundraised for a specialised rehabilitation swimming pool at the Port Elizabeth centre.

Architectural plans and seed funding have already secured to build a multi-purpose facility that will house a new education room, souvenir shop, meeting room, coffee shop and upgraded entrance to receive visitors. This new visitor’s centre will boost the capabilities of educating local schools and volunteers as well as boost tourism.

The development was conceptualised from the need to upgrade SANCCOB’s current education room to accommodate larger groups of learners, host training workshops and materialise an income-generating initiative to become more self-sustainable.

“Our Education Department reached 5 540 school learners through its formal education programme in 2019 and a donation of just R200 can support one learner to connect to marine wildlife in an inspiring, new learning environment.”

The hope is that the new centre will be multi-purpose, not only used for educational talks and training but also for hire to other organisations for conferences, meetings and events on days where no educational activities are scheduled. This will provide the organisation with a whole new income stream to provide care to rescued sea birds.

“The coffee shop will offer a beautiful scene, overlooking the home pen of resident birds and adjacent to the centre building, universally accessible ablution facilities will be installed. Funding a project such as this gives supporters the opportunity to make a broad-based impact that will benefit SANCCOB’s penguin and seabird rehabilitation for many generations to come. We invite you to be a part of that legacy, where your donation gives today and provides for tomorrow.”

– Source: SANCCOB /
Gavin Jantjes and Irma Stern are two South Africans being featured at the Spring 2020 Sotherby’s Modern and Contemporary African Art auction.
Following the record-breaking results achieved in October 2019, Sotheby’s auction of Modern and Contemporary African Art will return to London for a fifth consecutive season.

Since the inauguration of the series in 2017, Sotheby’s sales in the category have achieved more than 60 world records, championing the work of artists across Africa and the wider Diaspora, and underscoring a rising global interest in the field.

Over 100 works, by artists from 21 countries, will be on view to the public from 21 to 24 March 2020 ahead of the auction on 25 March 2020.
Nelson Mandela University student Charlize van Zyl continues to make her mark in the chess world, having been chosen to compete in the World Olympiad in Russia later this year.
The 20-year-old, who is in the third year of a BA Media, Communications and Culture degree, was named in the South African team after an eye-catching performance in the national women’s Closed Championship in December.

“I was placed joint third in that tournament, which consisted of 12 of the country’s strongest female players,” said Van Zyl. “We competed in a round-robin format, meaning that we all played against each other.

“Funnily enough, I beat both the women who came first and second. It was because of these results that I was chosen for the Olympiad team.”

She said it was always her goal to make the Olympiad team as a young player, and being selected for the national team for a second time was an extremely proud moment.

“It [the Olympiad] is a highly prestigious tournament and, by extension, it is an accolade to have made the team,” said Van Zyl. “I worked very hard to get there.

“The first time I made the team was in 2018 when it was held in Georgia.”

She added that the World Chess Olympiad was one of the most prestigious chess tournaments in the world, taking place every two years.

“Countries from all over send their best male and female teams, consisting of five players each, so the top players in the world will be there.”

This is the 44th Chess Olympiad and it will be held in Moscow from 5 to 18 August 2020.

The former Erica Primary and Collegiate High pupil said she learnt the game from her father at the age of seven and it had become her passion.

“When I was eight, I began to play competitively and I have taken part in many tournaments nationally and internationally since then.

"In 2013, at the age of 13, I attained the Woman International Master title, becoming the youngest South African ever to do so.”

– Source:
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