Issue 431 | 11 June 2020
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Stay Save – Protect South Africa
Corona Virus – 24-Hour Hotline for South African citizens
Youth Month – June 2020
African Union (AU) Chairperson and South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has expressed his sadness at the untimely passing of Burundian President, Pierre Nkurunziza.
The Government of Burundi announced on Tuesday, 10 June 2020, that President Nkurunziza passed away at the age of 55 following a short illness. His passing came shortly after Burundi concluded a peaceful electoral process.

President Ramaphosa expressed his sincere condolences to the Government and people of Burundi at the loss of the leader, who served Burundi as the second democratically elected President and the first President after the civil war.

“Burundi and all of Africa have lost a leader, who was devoted to people-centred sustainable development, self-reliance, the sovereignty of his people and country, as well as peace on the continent.

“It was under the leadership of President Nkurunziza that Burundi became one of the major troop-contributing countries in the AU Mission in Somalia. Burundi also deployed troops in the Central African Republic," he said.

President Ramaphosa recalled the sound bilateral relations between South Africa and Burundi, under which South Africa played a key role in the AU-led Burundi Peace Process, which led to the signing of the Arusha Peace Accords in 2000.

A memorable last State Visit undertaken by President Nkurunziza to South Africa was in November 2014, during which the two countries signed a number of bilateral agreements. These covered, among others, a Joint Commission of Cooperation, cultural cooperation and a decision to establish a Joint Business Council.

President Ramaphosa called on the people of Burundi to maintain calm and peace in their country following the passing of President Nkurunziza and in the aftermath of the recently concluded presidential, legislative and municipal elections.

– Source:
With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increasing at a startling rate in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged the public not to be alarmed but to prepare to deal with an upsurge in numbers.
This came as the country on Sunday, 7 June 2020, confirmed 2 312 new cases, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 48 285.

“During the course of this coming week, we can expect that the total number of cases will pass the 50 000 mark. Sadly, we are also likely to record the 1 000th death from this devastating disease,” President Ramaphosa said in his weekly letter on Monday, 8 June 2020.

The President expressed his worry at the rising figures.

“Like many South Africans, I too have been worried as I watch these figures keep rising. While these numbers are broadly in line with what the various models had projected, there is a big difference between looking at a graph on a piece of paper and seeing real people becoming infected, some getting ill and some dying.”

He said over the coming weeks, as infections continue to rise, the country should “remember that we are not helpless”.

“We should remember one simple, but fundamental, message: Don’t be alarmed. Be prepared,” he said.

He said the country could draw comfort from the fact that the nationwide lockdown was achieving its objective in delaying the spread of the virus.

“It gave us time to prepare our health facilities and interventions for the expected spike in infections,” he said. “The lockdown was not only necessary but it has also given us all time to adjust to living with the virus.”

The President said that while he was pleased to see that a high percentage of South Africans were observing hygiene protocols, they should avoid contact with other people and wear facemasks whenever in public.

He highlighted that social distancing in public places remained a challenge.

“We need to focus our attention on ensuring that we adhere to social distancing practices because it is through close contact between people that the virus will be spread,” he said.

The President also saluted business, government departments, schools and other institutions, which used the lockdown to prepare for a gradual return to more-or-less normal activity.

“They have been putting stringent health protocols in place, thoroughly cleaning and sanitising their premises and are ensuring that people are regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms. This is all necessary to ensure that we save lives and protect livelihoods," he said.

Western Cape

In the letter, the President also expressed satisfaction at the preparations the Western Cape is making to contain infections and to ensure that there are enough beds, staff and medical supplies to accommodate the rapidly increasing number of people needing hospitalisation.

The province is the country’s epicentre of the virus.

“We must mobilise and deploy all the necessary resources we have in the country. We need an integrated strategy that brings together the national, provincial and local spheres of government,” said President Ramaphosa.

The President said South Africa could slow down the spread of the disease if all measures were taken to flatten the infection curve.

Rising numbers

“As we watch the number of infections rise further – probably far faster than most of us imagined – we should be concerned, but not alarmed. That is because we have the ability, as individuals, communities and as a country, to limit the impact of the disease on our people.

“Although we have made progress, we still need to do much more in the coming weeks to meet the expected demand,” he said.

He said each household should look at how they could protect elderly people and those with underlying conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, tuberculosis or HIV.

“Do plan for the possibility that someone in the family may become infected and whether you will be able to isolate them from family members until they are better. If not, find out where the closest government quarantine site is. You should also plan ahead for what to do if someone gets sick,” said the President.

– Source:
Struggle stalwart, Andrew Mlangeni, was honoured on his 95th birthday on Saturday, 6 June 2020, with President Cyril Ramaphosa lauding him for his bravery, humility and being principled.
Mlangeni, who is the last surviving Rivonia Trialist, was honoured during a webinar, which also featured former presidents, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, members of President Ramaphosa’s executive and leaders of political parties.

”You are a national treasure, a national asset,” said President Ramaphosa, adding that Mlangeni had served South Africa and its people well with great distinction.

He said Mlangeni was the seer that the country needed to light the way forward.

”You’ve been our conscience, a national conscience,” the President added.

According to President Ramaphosa, Mlangeni had showed an unwavering commitment to the upliftment of others and was brave, honest, empathetic and principled. Mlangeni, according to President Ramaphosa, never sought any high-flying position during the years he was a Member of Parliament.

The June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation had planned a big celebration this year but had to settle for the webinar due to restrictions on gatherings to curb the spread of COVID-19.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairperson of the African Union (AU), joined heads of state and government of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) in a virtual summit on Wednesday, 3 June 2020, to discuss responses to the COVID-19 pandemic among member states.
It was the first Extraordinary Inter-Sessional Summit of this association of nations.

The virtual OACPS Summit was chaired by His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya.

The summit’s theme was: “Transcending the COVID-19 Pandemic: Building Resilience through Global Solidarity”.

The summit discussed multiple challenges faced by members of the OACPS in public health, the economy, food security and education.

The summit also discussed the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to the maintenance of international peace and security.

The summit assessed the global situation of COVID-19 with a particular focus on its effects and consequences for OACPS members.

Leaders also reviewed opportunities and actions for immediate responses to the pandemic and identified opportunities for global solidarity and action involving the United Nations, G20, European Union, the World Bank and regional development finance institutions.

South Africa’s participation in the summit was within the context of promoting the African Agenda and advancing South-South solidarity and cooperation.

President Ramaphosa has, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the AU, spearheaded a number of initiatives under the AU umbrella to deal with the serious consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.

Organisation of OACPS member states comprise Angola, Barbados, Congo Brazzaville, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tuvalu and Zambia.
This year marks the 44th anniversary of the 16 June student uprising.
DIRCO led a webinar on Diplomacy and Youth in the Age of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Thursday, 11 June 2020.

The 16 June student uprising saw thousands of young people brutally killed by the apartheid regime for protesting against the introduction of Afrikaans as a compulsory language in black communities throughout the country.

The webinar was organised by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, working in conjunction with the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, the National Youth Development Agency, the South African Institute of International Affairs and the United Nations Population Fund.
The first 20 ventilators, which will form part of a total donation of 1 000 ventilators from the United States (US) Government, have been installed at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto.
At a ceremony at the hospital on Saturday, 6 June 2020, US Ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks, said South Africa was the first country to receive ventilator donations from the US Agency for International Development.

She added that not only were the ventilators a gift to the people of South Africa, but also to healthcare workers responding to the global pandemic.

Currently, the hospital has just over 200 beds dedicated to the COVID-19 response, Gauteng Health MEC, Bandile Masuku, said, with cases being handled in the obstetrics wards.

The hospital is expected to see a 500-bed increase, Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, said.

– Source:
The Cintocare Hospital in Pretoria has received the Green Building Council of South Africa's (GBCSA) first Custom Healthcare Green Star certification awarded in Africa.
The seven-floor, 100-bed hospital will focus primarily on head and neck, spinal, neuro- and vascular surgery by specialised medical professionals.

Construction of the R470-million hospital began in July 2018 and, despite the COVID-19 lockdown, the project is on track for completion in the final quarter of 2020.

South Africa's largest listed property company, Growthpoint, developed the hospital in conjunction with Cintocare, and planning for the project included the collaboration of doctors. The hospital received a 5 Green Star Custom Healthcare design certification, awarded for its architectural design that incorporates several sustainable principles and fits in with Pretoria's "green precinct" of Menlyn Maine.

The development will form part of Growthpoint Healthcare Property Holdings, an unlisted healthcare fund that invests exclusively in healthcare property assets in South Africa, including hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and laboratories.

Growthpoint, Cintocare and the GBCSA say they regard the new green certification tool as a "roadmap" to drive the development of more green healthcare buildings in South Africa in future.

Lisa Reynolds, CEO of the GBCSA, says the certification shows a commitment to green building and an innovative approach.

"Together, they [Cintocare and Growthpoint] are creating a sustainable healthcare facility designed around the well-being of patients and hospital staff that supports the environment and its communities – changing the future of healthcare properties in South Africa," says Reynolds.

According to Dr Linda Sigaba, Fund Manager of Growthpoint Healthcare Property Holdings, green healthcare buildings are designed to have positive impacts on their users, their surrounding communities and the environment, and are the future of healthcare properties globally.

"We will continue supporting the growth of the healthcare sector by providing the capital to build new healthcare facilities and the green buildings of the future," says Sigaba.

– Source:
Tourlane distributed a questionnaire to its community of travellers and found that South Africa was one of the most popular choices when it comes to travelling post-Corona.
Tourlane, an online specialist for tailor-made dream trips, recently conducted a survey among its community of travellers to ask about people’s travel preferences. After tallying the votes, the results showed that South Africa was one of the most popular choices when it came to those dreaming of a post-Corona escape.

“With borders beginning to slowly open back up and the possibility of travel starting to return, we were interested to find out if travellers’ preferences have changed and how they are thinking about their next trip,” the company said after the survey was conducted in April and May 2020. “Where do they want to go? Who do they want to go with? And when is the earliest they feel comfortable travelling?”

The results show that a majority of respondents (54%) would still like to go on vacation in 2020. Interestingly, one in four travellers would depart right now if they were given the opportunity. In contrast, 46% of travellers have no desire to travel in 2020.

It was found that South Africa, New Zealand and Canada were the three most popular destinations within the Tourlane community of travellers, followed by Costa Rica and Namibia, which close the top five.

– Source:
M-Net's hit show “Trackers” made its debut in the United States on Friday, 5 June 2020, on Cinemax.
The exhilarating five-part series, based on the book by Deon Meyer, weaves together various storylines that focus on black rhinos, the CIA, organised crime, diamond smuggling, state security and an international terrorist plot to attack Cape Town.

Locally the show – which is available on Showmax – shattered viewership records to become the most popular show on M-Net in 2019.

The series, filmed entirely in South Africa, is a co-production between M-Net and Cinemax, which is HBO's sister network, and the German broadcaster ZDF.

Trackers stars James Gracie, Thapelo Mokoena, Rolanda Marais, Brendan Daniels, Sandi Schultz, Sisanda Henna, Jill Middelkop, Trix Vivier, Jerry Mofokeng, Grace Olifant, Albert Maritz and Ed Stoppard.

"Beyond enjoying an exciting and compelling drama, US audiences are going to be treated to stunning visuals and soundscapes, the likes of which they've not seen before. Trackers showcases the vibrant, eclectic cultural mix that epitomises South Africa. The landscapes, cityscapes, languages and music make Trackers a feast for the eyes and ears of international viewers," says James Gracie who plays Lemmer.

Trix Vivier, who plays Flea, adds: "Thrilled that a US audience can share in South African storytelling at its best – through the thriller-political-narrative of Deon Meyer that so paradoxically exposes our cultures and underworld crime scenes."

– Source:
"Motherland: Fort Salem" is now on South African television and it stars Cape Town actress, Jessica Sutton, as one of the three leads.
The first season of the fantasy drama Motherland: Fort Salem is now available to binge first on Showmax.

Motherland: Fort Salem is a young adult dystopian fantasy that follows three young women – Tally, Abigail and Raelle – from basic training to deployment, as they learn to fight terrorist threats with supernatural tactics and the potent magic of their voices. Thrown together in their unit, the three come from very different backgrounds, but they have one thing in common: they are witches, born and raised for battle … whether they like it or not.

Among the three leads is Cape Town actress Jessica Sutton, who was in The Kissing Booth and also stars in the upcoming Showmax Original Rogue, opposite Megan Fox.

Motherland: Fort Salem has a 96% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Associated Press calls the Freeform show “ridiculously entertaining”; Den of Geek says it’s “a riveting supernatural drama”, and says it’s “inventive and ambitious.”

– Source:
Bryan Habana has teamed up with the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation for the #strongtogether Campaign.
Chantell Wittstock, the Director of the foundation in South Africa, says by entering the challenge the public can help "save a life – change a life".

Bryan says it's been a "massive, humbling privilege" to work with Princess Charlene.

Princess Charlene of Monaco has always been passionate about helping people, particularly those in her home country of South Africa.

Charlene Lynette Wittstock, born in Zimbabwe, moved to Benoni in South Africa with her family when she was 11 years old and the professional swimmer went on to represent the country at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, finishing fifth in the 4x100 metre medley relay. She met Prince Albert of Monaco that same year, and the couple went on to marry in 2011 before welcoming twins, Gabriella and Jacques.

She took on the title once held by her mother-in-law, Grace Kelly – Her Serene Highness, The Princess of Monaco – but has continued to give back to the country she calls home in her affiliation with numerous charities, including the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the South African Red Cross Society and the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation.
Chantell Wittstock, the Director of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation in South Africa, who knows the princess very well (she is also her sister-in-law), says during our telephone interview: "I think what the world doesn't know is, she does so much, and hardly any of it is ever out in public. She truly has the most generous and sincere heart. Her mission in life is to save lives, make a difference and give back."

Chantell says it's been "rewarding" and "inspiring" being by the princess' side. "She is so passionate about South Africa to start with, the work she has done here and continues to do here, is inspiring. She truly believes, in her own words: 'Together, we will save lives. One person, one family and one community at a time.'

"Which, again, I think, is a very strong message for this #strongtogether Campaign as well."

The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation's mission is to save lives through teaching children water safety and helping talented sporting individuals excel, but of course, with the Coronavirus pandemic that has seen Prince Albert himself contract the virus, the foundation's focus has shifted. And so the #strongtogether Campaign was launched in the hope of saving many more lives in South Africa.

"With Princess Charlene's strong values of helping, saving lives, giving back, thinking what more we can do, #strongtogether started as a challenge," Chantell explains, revealing that 70 local celebrities have joined forces to help.

– Source:
This collaboration, valued at R450 000, means that 6 000 people will have food security for nearly a month.
One thousand schoolchildren and their parents across three schools in Cape Town, got a pleasant surprise recently when collecting a food hamper as Bryan Habana and Siya Kolisi stepped in to help distribute the parcels and greet the community.

The Bryan Habana Foundation and Kolisi Foundation joined forces with Pick n Pay’s Feed the Nation to deliver a total of 1 000 hampers to Lantana Primary School and Hillside Primary School in Mitchells Plain, and Masiyile High School in Khayelitsha. Each of these food parcels – consisting of rice, maize meal, baked beans, oil, pilchards, samp, milk powder, and fresh potatoes, onion and butternut – will provide food support to a family of four for three to four weeks. Another 500 food hampers will also be delivered to two schools in Steenberg.

The learners were identified through the Pick n Pay School Club, which has a network of 3 025 schools. Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, Transformation Director at Pick n Pay, says they work closely with each school’s principal who has a list of learners from vulnerable families or those who belong to local feeding schemes.

“Many households have lost their jobs during the lockdown, leaving them without income and very vulnerable. Through our School Club programme, we can step in to support these learners and their families at a time that they really need it.”

Pick n Pay’s Feed the Nation has focussed on schoolchildren throughout lockdown after many school feeding schemes closed, and has helped support over 15 000 schoolchildren and their families, from 102 schools across the country. Through these food hampers, they have provided 1.7 million meals. The campaign has also supported shelters, orphanages and nursing homes and has, to date, distributed over 12 million meals during this crisis.

– Source:
“Mr President,

“At the outset, I wish to thank the President and Prosecutor for their comprehensive reports. The Mechanism is carrying out commendable work and has undertaken significant efforts to improve the functioning of the Mechanism in a number of ways. As pointed out in the President’s Report, COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on the functioning of the Mechanism, especially on anticipated timelines and the consequent impact on the Mechanism’s 2021 budget proposal. In this respect, the Mechanism should be commended for the measures it has implemented in order to ensure that it remains operational and continues to work.”

Read more:
“Mr President,

“I would like to thank you for convening this important and timely meeting on Peacekeeping Operations when the world is dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the challenge of implementation of the mandates of these missions within the prevailing global health crisis. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3+1, namely Niger, South Africa, Tunisia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Read more:
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