Issue 432 | 18 June 2020
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Stay Save – Protect South Africa
Corona Virus – 24-Hour Hotline for South African citizens
Youth Month – June 2020
Sit-down restaurants, casinos and accredited accommodation will soon open to the public – under stringent conditions – after being closed for over 80 days since the lockdown was announced in March.
Personal care services, including salons and personal beauty services, will also be permitted to offer their services, while sports lovers will soon be able to play contactless games, with some contact sport to be allowed with defined restrictions.

Addressing the nation in a live televised broadcast on Wednesday night, 17 June 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa said many industries had been affected in the country and were unable to earn a living.

“There are businesses that haven’t earned an income or revenue, and individuals who haven’t earned a salary for over 80 days, even with the measures we put in place to support companies, workers and poor households as part of the R500 billion relief package that we announced,” the President said.

When President Ramaphosa announced in May that the country would be moving to alert level 3 from 1 June, he said government would give consideration to re-opening other sectors of the economy, if the necessary safety precautions were put in place and maintained.

“Therefore, following discussions with industry representatives on stringent prevention protocols, and after advice from scientists and consultation with premiers, Cabinet had decided to ease restrictions on certain other economic activities,” the President said.

Industries due to reopen soon:
  • restaurants for “sit-down” meals
  • accredited and licensed accommodation, except home-sharing accommodation like Airbnb
  • conferences and meetings for business purposes and in line with restrictions on public gatherings
  • cinemas and theatres, to be aligned to limitations on the gathering of people
  • casinos
  • personal care services, including hairdressers and beauty services
  • non-contact sports such as golf, tennis, cricket and others
  • contact sports will be allowed only for training and modified activities with restricted use of facilities.
However, these businesses need to adhere to strict safety requirements, which need to be put in place before they can reopen.

Detailed measures and the date from which these activities will be permitted will be announced in due course.

“We have taken this decision with due care and seriousness, appreciating the risks associated with each activity and the measures needed to manage those risks,” said the President.

While some of these industries may have suffered a huge blow, the First Citizen said these businesses employed over 500 000 people before the lockdown.

Therefore, he said, Cabinet thought very hard about the people and those who depended on them for their livelihoods.

Meanwhile, he said, government continued to balance the superseding objective of saving lives, while preserving livelihoods.

President Ramaphosa said many other countries were in the same boat during this global pandemic and were resolving similar dilemmas. “We are therefore working closely with international agencies and other countries in responding to the Coronavirus.”

Infections increase, breakthrough drug offers hope

South Africa continues to fight to flatten the curve, despite the upsurge of COVID-19 cases.

On Wednesday, the death toll stood at 1 674 people, while there were 80 412 confirmed Coronavirus cases in South Africa since the outbreak. Of these, 44 331 people – or around 55% – had recovered.

That means there are currently 34 407 active cases in the country. Yet, as we know, the cost in human lives could have been far higher,” President Ramaphosa said.

He said he was heartened by news of a breakthrough in the treatment of COVID-19, led by the University of Oxford in Britain.

The study found that the drug, dexamethasone, which is also manufactured here in South Africa, reduced deaths among patients on ventilation by a third.

“The Department of Health and the Ministerial Advisory Committee have recommended that dexamethasone can be considered for use on patients on ventilators and oxygen supply,” President Ramaphosa said.

Government believes that this will improve the management of the disease among those who are most severely affected.

The President said he was pleased that government had managed to delay the spread of the virus.

“One of the ways of measuring the rate of transmission is what is called ‘doubling time’,” he explained, adding that this is the number of days it takes for the total number of cases to double.

In the three weeks before the implementation of the nationwide lockdown, the number of infections was doubling every two days, while during level 5, it had increased to 15 days, which meant that it took much longer for the virus to spread.

Meanwhile, the doubling time has been at around 12 days during levels 4 and 3.

“We used the time during the lockdown to prepare and enhance our health system and put in place public health measures to minimise infections,” the President said.

Government has also been strengthening the health system, which includes establishing over 100 quarantine centres, increasing the number of intensive care units and beds in field hospitals, and identifying additional health personnel.

“Even after 100 days, we are still near the beginning of this epidemic and it will remain with us for many more months, possibly years,” President Ramaphosa said.

Over the last few weeks, the number of infections has been rising rapidly, while the Western Cape remains the epicentre, with over 60% of the cases.

“Nearly a third of all confirmed cases have been recorded in the last week alone and more than half of all confirmed cases have been recorded over the last two weeks.”

The President said as the country gradually opened up, resuming more activities, the risk of infection inevitably increased.

“Yet, even though the risk of infection is greater, it is by no means inevitable.

“Through our behaviour as individuals, we can reduce the likelihood that we will get infected or infect others. It is through our personal and collective actions that we can continue to delay the rate of infection across society,” he said.

He has urged the nation to continue to wear cloth masks or similar piece of clothing that covers both nose and mouth at all times when in public to reduce the rate of transmission of the virus.

– Source:
As Africa braces itself for the peak in COVID-19 cases, the continent is launching the Africa Medical Supplies Platform, an innovative marketplace to enable all African governments to access critical supplies, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday, 17 June 2020.

According to President Ramaphosa, Africa has over 250 000 confirmed infections and about 6 700 deaths.

“Although the number of infections in Africa is currently lower than elsewhere in the world, there is an expectation that the worst is still to come, with dire social and economic consequences,” he said.

As it stands, Africa is in dire need of medical supplies, testing equipment and facilities to isolate and quarantine people, laboratories, personal protection equipment and ventilators, the President told delegates.

While the continent is scrambling to get supplies, many African countries buy goods with resources largely obtained from multilateral agencies, President Cyril Ramaphosa noted.

President Ramaphosa was speaking in his capacity as the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) during a virtual Extraordinary China-Africa Solidarity Summit against COVID-19, co-hosted by the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the AU.

The summit was aimed at exploring opportunities for African states to leverage multilateral cooperation, through the FOCAC mechanism, so that resources and knowledge can be mobilised in efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

FOCAC is an official forum that coordinates cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and African states.

The President has also asked China to consider offering a helping hand by providing diagnostic and therapeutic supplies for over six months.

“This support would be managed by AfriExImBan, in collaboration with its counterpart in China. This would allow several African countries to procure goods from China,” he said.

The AU has also established an African COVID-19 Response Fund as a key intervention to mobilise and direct resources towards the continent’s response to the challenge.
“The economic global economic downturn has dealt a severe blow to the African continent, as it has the rest of the world,” President Ramaphosa acknowledged.

He said the AU had been at the forefront of mobilising international support for a comprehensive economic stimulus package for Africa.

African leaders have also called for debt relief for indebted African countries, including a two-year debt standstill and a plan for the restructuring of both private and bilateral debt.

“To provide additional liquidity to shore up the private sector, Africa has called for the international community to avail some unused Special Drawing Rights of about US$100 billion for Africa,” said the President.

He has also urged China to support and contribute to this call, or to propose other alternatives to be considered on an urgent basis to help support the private sector.

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic will pass, its consequences for people, economies and our planet will be with us for a long time to come.”

Rebuilding economies

The President said it was imperative to embark on a strategic effort to rebuild social and economic systems and restore the confidence of citizens.

“This will require solidarity and a clear vision of the future for developing countries.”

He said Sino-Africa solidarity and better multilateral cooperation were key to winning the battle against this pandemic.
“Through this and other platforms, let us continue to strengthen the bonds of solidarity that exist among us and take collective action to secure the future of humanity.”

The President has also expressed gratitude on behalf of Africans to China's President Xi Jinping, and the Government and his people for their generous donation of personal protective equipment and other medical assistance that have been provided to our continent.

“I wish to thank President Xi for the fruitful discussions we have had during the course of this pandemic and his willingness to engage on the issues that African countries face.”

He said the pandemic was not only a threat to health but had a profound bearing on many other areas of global activity, including trade, debt, financial flows, security, migration and action to deal with climate change.
“Humanity is facing a grave and uncertain crisis, as it confronts a virus, which by its nature knows no geographic boundaries and recognises no national sovereignty.”

He has also called for solidarity, global cooperation and collaboration.

“We need to strengthen the multilateral system and support the international institutions that must guide our response to this crisis.”

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa says there has to be life beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. He was addressing a virtual Youth Day discussion on Tuesday, 16 June 2020, focussed on the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Cyril Ramaphosa called on young people to lead South Africa's economic recovery post-COVID-19.

"We have young entrepreneurs and business owners who through their innovative ideas have been able to change their communities for the better and create new employment opportunities.

"We have outstanding young people, in the sciences and research, in sports, in entertainment and other fields who have represented our country on global platforms and stages," President Ramaphosa said.

This year marks 44 years since the Soweto uprising that claimed the lives of more than 200 people when thousands marched against the use of Afrikaans as a language of instruction.

The day, celebrated as Youth Day, ignited violent uprisings countrywide against the apartheid government.

"We pay tribute to the courage, the resilience and optimism of the youth of 1976; we also salute today's generation who are determined, who are focussed, who are resolute, but who also have great hopes about their own future and the future of our country," President Ramaphosa said.

He added young people's potential was undeniable and from "time immemorial" had always been driven by changing the world.

"By changing the way things are done, by changing the way we live, by changing unjust systems, by bringing about justice and bringing about a new world … the moment that we now confront post-COVID-19 calls on young people across the length and the breadth of our country to be part of that change and to be change agents.

"It also calls on young people to rebuild our economy and make a difference in the lives of our communities.

"It also calls on young people to be the young people who are going to underpin everything they do with the best of values, who are going to be rooted in principle in creating a South Africa that we can all be proud of," President Ramaphosa said.

"As a government, our commitment is irrevocable. We will continue to support our young people from cradle right through to young adulthood. We are providing education and training opportunities so that the youth get the skills that are needed by our economy."

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for a shared vision and strategy between South Africa and Lesotho to revive the economy in the aftermath of COVID-19.
“Clearly, COVID-19 is having quite a negative impact on many economies around the world and we are also going to be adversely affected, both Lesotho and South Africa.”

He said international financial institutions like the World Bank were predicting that both Lesotho and South Africa’s economies were going to shrink significantly.

“Therefore, it calls on us to come up with a clear vision, clear strategies of how we’re going to address our badly affected economy, in our case, which we share with Lesotho.”

President Ramaphosa and Lesotho’s Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro were addressing the media at Mahlamba Ndlopfu Presidential Guesthouse in Tshwane on Friday, 12 June 2020.

This was the Prime Minister Majoro’s first courtesy visit since his swearing on 20 May 2020, following the resignation of his predecessor, Thomas Thabane.

The two leaders discussed, among others, bilateral cooperation, and regional and continental issues of mutual interest amidst the fight against the Coronavirus global pandemic.

“This visit marks a very important milestone – the beginning of improving and deepening relations between South Africa and Lesotho at all levels that touch on the movement between South Africa and Lesotho and how we should find ways to support each other’s economy, particularly in relation to post COVID-19,” President Ramaphosa told the media.

He said it was important to look at how they were going to deal with the issue of unemployment.

The two leaders also spoke about restructuring of the economic landscape by sharing their plans and deepen economic integration.

The President said they were also looking at tackling the critical issues faced by the two nations, such as fighting cross-border crimes and human trafficking.

“We’ll get our ministers to begin the process of dealing with all these matters to prepare for a more formalised meeting between our two governments.”

Lesotho developments

The visit was also an opportunity for President Ramaphosa to be apprised on developments in the Mountain Kingdom.

“We’re also delighted to hear that stability has returned to Lesotho and that there’s a renewed commitment to embark on the reforms that we, as South Africa, have been a facilitator in,” the President said.

On the issue of movement of people, he said they needed to come up with a better way to enable people, who are documented, to move with greater ease.

Prime Minister Majoro acknowledged that the two countries were linked.

“Both countries have a unique geographical situation, with Lesotho fully beating as a heart inside South Africa. It isn’t always a healthy heart and we can see blood running to the face of South Africa whenever we have issues.

“But uppermost in our minds, is that relations between Lesotho and South Africa must at all times be warm.”

He said it was for this reason that they moved quickly to pay a visit to President Ramaphosa to begin their work to improve their relations.

The leaders also discussed COVID-related issues spanning beyond the medical and clinical fronts, including how to deal with border control issues, which may tamper with efforts to control infections.

“We are going to address these issues,” Prime Minister Majoro said.

The Prime Minister said both countries would also collaborate in making decisions that affected both countries.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Majoro also promised that his government was working on delivering services to citizens.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as African Union (AU) Chairperson, chaired a virtual meeting of the AU Bureau of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government and Chairpersons of AU Regional Economic Communities (RECs). The AU special envoys also participated in the meeting on Thursday, 11 June 2020.
The meeting took place against the backdrop of the rapid spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The pandemic continues to have major impacts on the health and lives of people and threatens to have an even longer-lasting economic and social impact on the economies of Africa.

During the first few months of the outbreak, governments around the world have been focussed on containing the spread of the disease, relying in many cases on stringent transmission control measures. It has become clear that the economic and social costs of the outbreak will be significant, with governments increasingly turning their attention to a broader set of policy interventions that can help mitigate such costs.

Gross Domestic Product projections have already been revised downward for most regions and countries, driven by shocks to both domestic demand and supply with sharp declines in the circulation of goods and services, as well as people and capital.

The AU has adopted a joint continental strategy for the COVID-19 outbreak and, through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), established a task force to coordinate the efforts of member states and partners to ensure synergy and minimise duplication. The AU has further set up a special COVID-19 Fund, embarked on efforts to strengthen the capacity of the Africa CDC and constituted a team of special envoys in support of its strategy. The appointed special envoys are tasked to mobilise international support for Africa’s efforts to address the economic challenges the continent will face as a result of COVID-19. They are expected to solicit rapid and concrete support as pledged by the G20, the European Union and other international financial institutions.

Thursday’s meeting followed previous meetings held by the AU Bureau and AU RECs received a briefing on the Africa COVID19 pandemic strategy and updates on the situation on the continent. It also received a report on the economic relief measures from the AU envoys and a presentation, ahead of the public launch, of the Africa Medical Supplies, a pool platform for African countries for the procurement of critical medical supplies and personal protective equipment.
A cheap steroid has been hailed as a breakthrough treatment to reduce fatalities among severely ill COVID-19 patients.
Dexamethasone is manufactured in South Africa by Aspen, and its CEO believes there should be enough supply to meet demand.

Dexamethasone has been proven to reduced deaths by one-third in patients on ventilators, the University of Oxford said in a statement on Tuesday, 16 June 2020. It reduced fatalities by a fifth among those who received oxygen support.

The finding came from the world's biggest trial testing existing treatments on COVID-19 patients.

More than 11 500 patients in 175 United Kingdom (UK) hospitals are part of the trial, and more than 2 100 of them received 6mg of dexamethasone once per day.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed it at the “biggest breakthrough yet” in the UK's Coronavirus fight.

The regulated price per dexamethasone injection is between R149 and R176 in South Africa. It is typically used to treat arthritis and breathing disorders.

South Africa’s pharmaceutical giant Aspen produces dexamethasone injections in South Africa, and its CEO Stephen Saad confirmed to Business Insider SA that there should be sufficient supplies to meet local demand.

“It all depends on where and when we get the surges. We should be fine for South Africa, (as) we make this in South Africa.”

According to Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, the drugs are also “easily implementable” in South Africa.

“Dexamethasone is a well-known and widely used steroid, which has potent anti-inflammatory properties.

“It is used in allergic reactions, asthma and other conditions where the inflammatory component of the disease needs to be controlled for better outcomes,” said Minister Mkhize.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has welcomed the initial clinical trial and said they were looking forward to the full data analysis in the coming days.

“For patients on ventilators, the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one-third, and for patients requiring only oxygen, mortality was cut by about one-fifth,” according to preliminary findings shared with WHO.

The agency said the benefit was only visible in seriously ill COVID-19 patients and not those with milder disease.

“This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support.

“This is great news and I congratulate the Government of the UK, the University of Oxford and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

– Sources: and
SAA is offering repatriation flights in coming days.
While South Africa is still discouraging non-essential travel to high-risk countries, citizens who have to return to work, to study or to their residence abroad can fly overseas.

They have to get clearance from the Department of Home Affairs first.

SAA is advertising flights to Brazil, Argentina and Washington.

South Africans can fly overseas to return to their place of work, to study, or to go to their residence abroad, but there are strict rules about getting clearance.

According to new government regulations, South Africans can travel overseas on “international flights permitted for evacuation and repatriation” if they are travelling to “his or her place of employment, study or residence outside of the Republic”.

However, the regulations state that government is still discouraging non-essential travel to “high risk countries” – which according to the last available list are Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The new regulations stipulate that prospective South African travellers have to get travel permission from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) first. To get this, they must provide the DHA with the following (at least five working days ahead of the intended date of travel):
  • a copy of your valid South African passport
  • a letter confirming that you have a valid visa or permit, issued by the country where you are heading
  • if you are transiting through another country, proof of permission to transit through that
  • proof of the ticket, and the intended date of departure.
SAA will refund your ticket if your application is not approved by the DHA or if you show symptoms of COVID-19 on the day of departure.

Travellers need to bring their own face mask and hand sanitiser.

– Source:
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) are set to work together to develop technologies and infrastructure to support socio-economic development in South Africa and southern Africa.
The parties recently signed a framework agreement to collaborate on projects of mutual interest in fields such as water, energy (including bioethanol production), infrastructure development, emerging and small-farmer support and the DBSA's Development Labs (known as D-Labs).

D-Labs are development precincts designed to create economic development spaces within communities where all local participants are connected and have access to digital presence, technologies and information.

The partnership is expected to pave way for the commercialisation of CSIR technologies in a bid to boost the competitiveness of local industries and regional economies.
This is in line with the CSIR's strategy, which aims to use science, technology and innovation to strengthen industrial development and the creation of a capable state.

The DBSA plays a critical role in supporting the Government to leverage skills and capabilities to accelerate the implementation of infrastructure programmes in the key priority sectors of the economy, such as energy, information and communications technology, water and sanitation, education and health as well as various municipal infrastructure programmes.

CSIR Chief Executive Officer, Dr Thulani Dlamini, welcomed the partnership, saying the parties are well aligned to contribute to the improvement of the country's industries.
"The CSIR is very pleased to be working with DBSA. This partnership brings together complementary capabilities in innovation and development, which could see us make a significant impact in South Africa and also the region.

"The DBSA recognises that technology is key in helping us achieve our mandate of promoting economic development and inclusive growth. As a result, we are excited about this partnership as it will enable both organisations to unlock growth in our economy," DBSA Chief Executive Patrick Dlamini said.

– Source:
The four new reserves – Areb, Karas, Marietjie van Niekerk and Smorgenskadu Nature Reserves – adjoin each other and form the greater Karrasberge Protected Area.
If you drive through Bushmanland east of Springbok, you will come across a group of solitary mountains that tower over the surrounding flat grassy plains. These protrusions in the landscape are called inselbergs (literally “island mountains”) and are home to rare succulent plants – at risk from mining and plant poachers.

Inselbergs have long been known to harbour unique plant species, which is why the Leslie Hill Succulent Karoo Trust (LHSKT) first identified these solitary mountains as a top priority for conservation. They fall within the Succulent Karoo Biome in the arid western part of South Africa which was recently described by UNESCO as the “most biologically diverse arid area in the world”.

But until March 2020, these Bushmanland Inselbergs of the Northern Cape were unprotected. Now, with the declaration of four new provincial reserves, this is no longer the case.

Combined, they represent around 5 700 hectares of two previously unprotected vegetation types: Bushmanland Inselberg Shrubland and Aggeneys Gravel Vygieveld, in addition to another poorly protected vegetation type, Bushmanland Arid Grassland, thus contributing to national and international conservation targets.

This achievement has come about as a result of work done by Wilderness Foundation Africa (WFA) funded by the LHSKT via WWF South Africa, in cooperation with the landowners and the Northern Cape Department of Environment and Nature Conservation (DENC).

These areas were included in the Northern Cape Provincial Protected Area Expansion Strategy which is why DENC supported the declaration of these four gems as provincial nature reserves, which they will now oversee in partnership with the landowners.

“WFA, DENC and WWF would like to applaud the landowners’ dedication and foresight in conserving this portion of South Africa’s national heritage in perpetuity,” said Ben-Jon Dreyer (WFA Land Negotiator). “These nature reserves will ultimately contribute to the climate change resilience of the region’s vegetation, as well as counter the increasing threat of heavy metal open cast mining ventures and the illegal plant trade in these areas.”

The partnerships between DENC, private landowners and NGOs are facilitated under the DENCs Biodiversity Stewardship Programme.

This programme was initiated to ensure that critically important biodiversity receives protection while remaining under the stewardship of private landowners and managed in partnership with provincial agencies, SANParks or NGOs.

– Sources: WWF and
South African author, Elsa Joubert, has died at the age of 97 due to COVID-19.
Elsa's well-known book, Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena (The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena), was translated into 13 languages and most recently turned into an award-winning film directed by Christian Olwagen and starring Clementine Mosimane.

Poppie Nongena has been voted one of the top 100 best books of the 20th century.

Channel24 wrote about the film: "Poppie Nongena is a tour de force, a cinematic feat, a South African story told with empathy, grace, bold ferocity, and fearlessness. It’s a powerful fist in the air that shows defiance of our past, a reminder that we have a lot to heal from, and there’s still a long path ahead of us."

Johnathan Ball Publishers reports that Elsa received numerous awards during her career, including the Hertzog Prize (probably the most prestigious award for Afrikaans writing). Elsa was also awarded an honourary doctorate by the University of Stellenbosch.

Eloise Wessels, head of NB Publishers, in a statement released online added: "Elsa Joubert was a pioneer, she was ahead of her time. She successfully reached her own people with her political message – something that evaded other Afrikaans writers. Apart from the cultural and political dimensions of her work it also carried a powerful human element."

According to South African History Online, Elsa, born Elsabé Antoinette Murray Joubert, was born on 19 October 1922, in Paarl, where she grew up, and studied at the universities of Stellenbosch (BA and SOD) and Cape Town (MA in Afrikaans-Nederlands).

Poppie Nongena is available for viewing on DStv Box Office.

– Source:
With the launch of their new music video, Soweto-based Mzansi Youth Choir and globe-trotting flutist and composer Wouter Kellerman pay tribute to the health workers around the globe.
“The struggles I’m facing,

The chances I’m taking …

Just got to keep going

I gotta be strong

Just keep pushing…”

These lines from The Climb (made famous by Miley Cyrus) highlight the situation all health workers around the world find themselves in. Despite the dangers, they are climbing very steep mountains to summit the top, but the next morning there is another mountain – one even higher – awaiting them!

Mzansi Youth Choir from Soweto was formed in 2003 with the aim of affording firstly, talented, underprivileged teenagers and young adults the opportunity to proficiently perform locally and abroad, secondly, to create an appreciation of traditional African music nationally and internationally and finally to embrace various music genres.

Globe-trotting flutist and composer Wouter Kellerman received a 2015 Grammy® Award for his album Winds of Samsara.

Passionate about teaching and empowering young people, Kellerman has sponsored the SOS Children’s Village for the past 17 years. For his continued efforts in helping give these children a better life, Kellerman was nominated for the Inyathelo Special Recognition Award for Philanthropy.

A unique South African spin has been put on the inspirational song, which was recently released along with a video. Technology allowed the choir as well as Wouter to come together in a time of social distancing to create the clip. Along with artists, the video also features powerful imagery of healthcare workers.
Roc Nation Sports, the agency owned by American rapper, Jay-Z, is currently in the process of filming a Siya Kolisi documentary.
National rugby captain, Kolisi, joined the high-profile agency shortly after the Springboks were crowned 2019 Rugby World Cup champions in Japan in November.

In an interview with the SportsPro website, Roc Nation's sports division president, Michael Yormark, confirmed the news.

"It is one thing to have a great story but, in the case of his documentary, we have to make sure that it has the right distributors and we need to make sure that distribution has a global footprint," Yormark said.

"So, while we’re shooting the documentary, we are also talking to some of the biggest media companies in the world and we are very optimistic that it will have global distribution and it will continue to amplify his story.

"We’re also working on another major project with Siya called, United for Africa, a virtual live-streamed music and cultural experience, that will profile artists throughout the world to help raise money to feed those in need in Africa.

"Although the goal isn't to tell Siya’s story, he will have significant visibility during that event and people will get to know Siya in a different way. These are all opportunities that continue to build the Siya Kolisi brand and continue to allow us to share his story with the rest of the world."

Yormark added that the work done by Kolisi off the field – he has been conducting large-scale feeding schemes through his Kolisi Foundation during the Coronavirus pandemic – was an example of why they had aligned themselves with him.

"That decision had all to do with who Siya Kolisi is as a man, as a leader, as a father and a husband, and what he stands for," Yormark said.

"The idea of hope and overcoming challenges, and the ability to inspire and motivate, especially now, is so important."

– Source:
On the 10th anniversary of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, former Bafana Bafana star Siphiwe Tshabalala launched his very own children's book called “Super Shabba”.
Shabba, as he is affectionately known, netted the opening goal for South Africa against Mexico at Soccer City in front of an 84 000-strong crowd.

In celebrating that memory, the now 35-year-old is hoping to give back and inspire African children with his latest book.

"This is a story of a boy who grew up in Phiri, Soweto, and always loved football," said Tshabalala in a statement released by the South African Football Association (SAFA).

"He had dreams and wanted to be on the big stage, and then he heard on radio that there were trials. He made the grade but was bullied because of his size and height.

"However, he didn't allow anyone to pull him down and he worked hard to be a superhero.

"If you look at it, this is a story about my journey and the FIFA World Cup. The story is meant to inspire the African child.

"It is about a superhero they can relate to – an authentic story of someone they can bump into at the street corner or at the spaza shop.

"He is the same skin colour as them, comes from the same background as them. It is a story that says even if you had a poor upbringing, it doesn't mean you can't make it in life – in fact that should inspire you more to change your circumstances."

Shabba says that the children who read this book will get to learn South Africa's history from a person who grew up in an impoverished township and went on to conquer the world stage.

"I believe it is important that when we are growing up, we tend to want to adopt the Western way, the faraway idols, when in fact we have heroes among us – and sometimes we end up losing our identity," Tshabalala continued.

"This book is one way of saying we are story tellers, we should tell our own stories and we should allow anyone to tell our story in our own way, so that those that read it can understand it better, as they may be coming from the same circumstances.

"I believe every child get this book and that is why we need government support to ensure our history is preserved."

The book is available from Grades 3-5 and will be in four languages: English, Sesotho, IsiZulu and Setswana.

– Source:
“Mr President,

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, Jean-Yves Le Drian, for convening this meeting. The scheduling of this meeting is timely as the Security Council prepares to renew the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) later this month.
"I also wish to extend my thanks to Secretary-General, António Guterres and the African Union High-Representative for Mali and the Sahel, H.E. former President Pierre Buyoya, for their informative briefings.

“We are meeting today as the global community continues to mitigate the devastating impact of the novel COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has affected all of us in numerous ways, including the efforts of the various stakeholders responsible for promoting international peace and security. We were saddened to learn about the recent demise of two MINUSMA peacekeepers to this pandemic. Peacekeepers are at the frontlines of our efforts to maintain peace and security and our condolences go to their families during these trying times.”

Read more:
“Thank you, Mr President,

“Allow me to begin by thanking Special Envoy, Geir Pedersen and Ms Noura Ghazi for their briefings today.

“The Syrian civil war has been raging for over nine years. Nine years in which thousands have died, been injured and have been displaced. What has compounded this conflict and no doubt prolonged it, has been the interference of outside role-players, including foreign powers and armed groups. A peaceful stable country became a battlefield for geopolitical rivalry and the ambitions of terrorist groups.”

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