Issue 436 | 16 July 2020
    It's Your Voice   UBUNTU Magazine   UBUNTU Radio  
If this newsletter doesn’t load or images don’t display, please click here
International Mandela Day, 18 July 2020
Corona Virus – 24-Hour Hotline for South African citizens
Nelson Mandela Month
Zindzi Mandela, the youngest daughter of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and former President Nelson Mandela, died on Monday, 13 July 2020.
In paying tribute, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Zindzi Mandela was a household name, nationally and internationally.

President Ramaphosa described Zindzi Mandela as a "fearless political activist who was a leader in her own right".

"Zindzi Mandela was a household name nationally and internationally, who during our years of struggle, brought home the inhumanity of the apartheid system and the unshakeable resolve of our fight for freedom. After our liberation, she became an icon of the task we began of transforming our society and stepping into spaces and opportunities that had been denied to generations of South Africans.

"Her spirit joins Tata Madiba and Mama Winnie in a reunion of leaders to whom we owe our freedom."

Ambassador Mandela, who was South Africa's Ambassador to Denmark from 2015, died in the early hours of Monday morning in a Johannesburg hospital. She was 59.

According to The Presidency, Ambassador Mandela – who was raised in Soweto and educated in South Africa and Swaziland – spent many years involved in the struggle against apartheid and "embraced roles in the arts, philanthropy and business".
While the country will remain on lockdown level 3 amid a rapid rise in COVID-19 infections, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced drastic measures in an effort to preserve lives and limit the rise in infections.
Addressing the country on Sunday night, 12 July 2020, the President said while the country would remain on lockdown level 3, certain regulations were being reintroduced with immediate effect while others were being tightened.

By Sunday, South Africa had 276 242 confirmed cases, of which 4 079 had resulted in related deaths.

“We are now recording over 12 000 new cases every day. That is the equivalent of 500 new infections every hour,” he said.

Regulations reintroduced with immediate effect

Among these is a re-ban on the sale, dispensing and distribution of alcohol as well as the reintroduction of a curfew between 9pm and 4am. While interprovincial taxi capacity will remain at 70%, local taxis will now be able to ferry 100% loads. However, operators will be expected to follow new risk-mitigation protocols related to masks, vehicle sanitising and open windows.

Regulations on the wearing of masks, which has been mandatory, will be strengthened.

“As we head towards the peak of infections, it is vital that we do not burden our clinics and hospitals with alcohol-related injuries that could have been avoided. This is a fight to save every life, and we need to save every bed,” he said.

In this regard, the President said employers, shop owners and managers, public transport operators, and managers and owners of any other public building were legally obliged to ensure that anyone entering their premises or vehicle must be wearing a mask.

Ease some restrictions

At the same time, the President said government had decided to ease restrictions on activities that posed a lower risk of infection and were important for economic or educational purposes.

“As part of resuming economic activity, all auctions will be permitted subject to protocols similar to those that currently apply to agricultural auctions.

“Parks will be open for exercise, but not for any form of gathering,” he said.

Family visits still restricted

After careful consideration of expert advice, the President said there were still some activities that presented too much of a risk to permit at this stage.

“For this reason, family visits and other social activities will unfortunately not be allowed for now.

“I know that this places a great burden on families and individuals and can cause great emotional strain, especially for those with elderly parents.

“It goes against our very nature as social beings, but it is a hardship that we must endure for that much longer to protect those we love and care for from this disease,” President Ramaphosa said.

Priority actions

In the coming weeks, he said, government would be focussing on a number of priority actions.

“Across all provinces, we are working to further increase the number of general ward and critical beds available for COVID-19 patients. This must be done,” the President said.

Already, ward capacity is being freed up in several hospitals by delaying non-urgent care, the conversion of some areas of hospitals into additional ward space and the erection or expansion of field hospitals.

“We are working to increase supplies of oxygen, ventilators and other equipment for those who will need critical care, including by diverting the supply of oxygen from other purposes.

“Due to the lack of critical care facilities in rural areas, measures are being put in place to refer patients to better-equipped urban centres,” he said.

To deal with shortages of health personnel, government is employing more doctors and nurses and negotiating with health science faculties to deploy volunteers to provide medical, nursing, physiotherapy, pharmacy and general patient support.

According to current projections, each province will reach the peak of infections at different times between the end of July and late September.

“Yet, while infections rise exponentially, it is important to note that our case fatality rate of 1.5% is among the lowest in the world. This is compared to a global average case fatality rate of 4.4%,” he said

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his sadness and extended condolences at the passing of Regent of the Royal House of the amaRharhabe, Queen Noloyiso Sandile.
“We join the Great Place of Mngqesha and amaRharhabe in mourning her passing; at the same time we pay tribute to her for her deep and unwavering commitment to the upliftment of her people and to her country. May her soul rest in peace,” said the President.

Queen Noloyiso, widow of the late King Maxhobha Sandile, passed away on 8 July 2020 following a short illness.

The amaRharhabe has been an independent sovereign kingship since the 18th century.

Its status was affirmed by a 2016 North Gauteng High Court judgment, overturning an earlier decision by the Nhlapo Commission.

The President has described the late queen as “a bastion of traditional values and an inspiring and principled leader of her people”.

President Ramaphosa extended his condolences to the Royal Household, amaRharhabe and the broader traditional communities and society.

“Queen Noloyiso played a significant role in the affirmation of traditional values and leadership in South African society at large, and in the development of her kingdom and the Eastern Cape more broadly.

“Under her able leadership, the amaRharhabe firmly grasped the nettle of change and adapted to the demands of modern society, all the while holding proudly to their history, traditions and identity,” said President Ramaphosa.

The President lauded Queen Noloyiso as a champion of rural women who challenged patriarchy in her community and gave a voice to its female constituents.

“At a time when we face a grave public health emergency in the form of the Coronavirus, Queen Noloyiso actively mobilised support for the national effort to combat the pandemic, including calling on communities to halt traditional initiations.

“The united stand taken by the seven kingdoms in this regard was a critical intervention to save lives, and we owe a debt to the Queen for the role she played,” President Ramaphosa added.

– Source:
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has learnt with shock of the news of the passing of South Africa’s Ambassador to Denmark, Ms Zindzi Mandela.
Minister Pandor has expressed her deep condolences to the Mandela family, friends and colleagues.

Minister Pandor said: “Zindzi will not only be remembered as a daughter of our struggle heroes, Tata Nelson and Mama Winnie Mandela, but as a struggle heroine in her own right. She served South Africa well.

"May her soul rest in peace."
The European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell Fontelles; and the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Dr Naledi Pandor, co-chaired the 14th session of the Ministerial Political Dialogue in the context of the Strategic Partnership on 14 July 2020, by video-conference.
The meeting was also attended by the EU Commissioner for Trade, Phil Hogan; the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen; the South African Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel; and the South African Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni.

Both sides discussed, among others, how to adapt their strategic partnership within the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact, political, social and economic priorities in South Africa and the EU and the preparation of the EU-African Union (AU) Summit. Both sides reaffirmed their goal of strengthening the rules-based international order, human rights, universal values and multilateralism.

Both sides shared their concern about the impact of COVID-19 on developing countries and least developed countries, the majority of which are in Africa. They underlined the importance of global solidarity and multilateral cooperation in relation to COVID-19 response as demonstrated by the “Team Europe” support package and the EU-hosted “Worldwide Vaccine Pledging Marathon” to accelerate development and production of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against the Coronavirus, and their universal deployment.

The appointment by President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as Chair of the AU, of special envoys to mobilise international economic support for Africa’s efforts to address severe economic challenges that African countries are facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is an important contribution to fostering coordinated action.

On peace and security issues, both sides discussed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) agenda, including the priorities set for South Africa’s Presidency of the UNSC in December 2020, which will mark the end of the country’s current non-permanent membership.

Both sides stressed the importance of EU-UN-AU trilateral cooperation and discussed a range of current political and security issues in Africa, in Europe and beyond. Both sides support the UN Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire in the context of COVID-19 and in this regard welcomed the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2532(2020). Both sides are committed to work together to ensure that ongoing peace processes, humanitarian aid and situations of fragility do not suffer from the impact of the pandemic.

Both sides updated each other on the preparations of the Sixth EU-AU Summit, agreed to take place on 28/29 October 2020 in Brussels and pledged an ambitious outcome with joint strategic priorities for the years to come.

Read more:
Pitika Ntuli’s online exhibition at an annual festival draws praise from highest echelons.
The online launch of the exhibition Return to the Source (Azibuyele Emasisweni) presented a landmark on the African continent. The 45 sculptures that feature in it, are not only extraordinary – made from animal bones teased into human features and a first for a contemporary festival – but are presented online with poems, songs and words created by the artist, Pitika Ntuli, as well as some renowned academics and creative producers such as Homi K. Bhabha, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Kwesi Owusu and Shaheen Merali. The result is a rich visual, audio, intellectual experience. African knowledge and spiritualism and creativity and art have never intermingled in this way before in the digital sphere.

As such the exhibition has drawn praise in Ntuli’s native South Africa.

“This is one of highest of artistic achievements in the history of solo exhibitions in our country,” observed Dr Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, during the virtual opening of the exhibition.

“The uniqueness of Ntuli’s work arises from a deep pool of indigenous knowledge and wisdom and centuries-old cultural tradition. From this angle one could argue that this exhibition affirms the significance of African value systems, which gives a sense of pride and hope to our people’s culture that has often been denigrated and marginalised by colonialism and thus through this exhibition we are opening channels for healing,” added Minister Pandor.

“This exhibition comes at the right time. The emphasis on healing has particular significance in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty it has brought with it, which have given us an opportunity to reflect on our value systems and what we call the normal way of doing things,” said Minister Pandor.

As the exhibition title, Return to the Source (Azibuyele Emasisweni), suggests, Ntuli advocates a return to the “source” of African spiritualism and knowledge as a way to reconnect with human ethics, the essence of existence, and, of course, nature.

Azibuyele Emasisweni
(Return to the Source) will run until 2 August 2020. The exhibition can be viewed on
Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, says the Department of Science and Innovation is in the process of implementing multiple interventions, including the use of African medicine, as immune-modulators and anti-Coronavirus therapeutics.
Addressing the media on Wednesday, 8 July 2020, on further measures being implemented on COVID-19 within the Higher Education, Science and Innovation sectors, Minister Nzimande said the Indigenous Knowledge-Based Bio-Innovation Programme had been working with the African Medicines COVID-19 Research Team in researching several South African herbs and formulations, with documented evidence for treatment of respiratory infections, signs and symptoms.

“One of the herbs our team is working on is Artemisia afra (Umhlonyane in Nguni languages),” Minister Nzimande said.

He said the department had reassigned R15 million from existing Indigenous Knowledge projects to support COVID-19 interventions. The department has submitted a proposal for additional funding, especially for clinical studies; small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) support cultivation; agro-processing; and job creation.

Research of the Cannabis Industrialisation Master Plan

The Minister said the department was also leading a Research and Innovation Pillar of the Cannabis Industrialisation Master Plan.

“To this extent, our focus is to develop medicinal products for COVID-19, cancers, diabetes, TB and HIV/AIDS and neurodegenerative diseases, among others.

”He said the Indigenous Knowledge-Based Bio-Innovation Programme had five other platforms in nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, technology transfer (incubation) and commercialisation (entrepreneurship), which include the South African Bureau of Standards, University of Venda, University of Witwatersrand, University of South Africa, Tshwane University of Technology and emerging SMEs supported by these platforms.

Guidelines for the evaluation of traditional medicines

Minister Nzimande said processes were underway at the South African Health Products Authority for the establishment of dedicated structures for African medicines regulations, evaluation of African medicines clinical trials and registration of these medicines for commercial and clinical application.

“As the Department of Science and Innovation, we place high value in conducting ethical and responsible research, development and innovation initiatives as we continue to build on our previous work with the World Health Organisation-African Regional Office (WHO-AFRO) in the development of Guidelines for Evaluation of Traditional Medicines.

“Our partnering healer organisations and Indigenous Knowledge-based SMMEs are fully apprised on these processes. On 8 and 18 May 2020, the department’s African Medicines Platform held a meeting with WHO-AFRO to review the role of African medicines against COVID-19 and to discuss ways in which South Africa can work with WHO-AFRO in ensuring that recognised research protocols are observed,” the Minister explained.

– Source:
Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister, Nomanlungelo Gina, recently addressed a virtual trade and investment seminar with Zambia.
The two-day session was held under the theme: ”Developing Afrocentric Solutions and Forging Partnership in Response to COVID-19”.

The seminar focussed on trade and investment opportunities available in both Zambia and South Africa.

It also provided a platform to discuss strategic issues regarding Zambia’s investment plans to stimulate that country’s economic growth in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two countries also discussed mineral beneficiation.

“The ultimate goal is to mobilise South African and Zambian business communities to consider taking up investment opportunities in both countries and to build-up on previous outward trade and investment missions, held in Zambia between 2015 and 2019.

“These missions yielded significant results in exposing South African companies to the Zambian market, deepening bilateral trade relations, creating greater knowledge of South African opportunities and improving awareness of investment opportunities,” said the Deputy Minister ahead of the start of the session on Thursday, 9 July 2020.

South Africa’s main exports to Zambia include machinery and mechanical appliances, base metals, mineral products, products of the chemical or allied industries. South Africa also exports plastics and articles thereof, vehicles, aircraft, vessels and associated transport equipment.

– Source:
Eskom interim Chairperson, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, has been appointed to serve on the 12-member expert panel of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board for the first COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.
In a statement, the power utility congratulated Prof. Makgoba who also serves as South Africa’s Health Ombud, on his appointment.

“We are proud that an African scientist associated with Eskom has been given this recognition and are confident that Professor Makgoba will lend his skill to the fight against the pandemic and discharge his scientific expertise to the benefit of all humanity,” said Eskom.

Professor Makgoba has been invited to serve on the panel by the Government of the United States of America (USA). The professor will join nine scientists, physicians, ethicists and biostatisticians from the USA, and two experts from Brazil and the United Kingdom.

Members of the board are selected based on their expertise and experience.

The Data and Safety Monitoring Board is responsible to ensure the safety of participants, the efficacy and immunogenicity of the candidate vaccine being tested or on trial, and it is the final structure to pronounce on vaccine approval.

The recommendations of the board will have an enormous impact on the overall global response, including South Africa’s to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board is independent of investigators, organisations and institutions conducting vaccine clinical trials.

The board has the authority to recommend that a trial be stopped early should there be concerns of participant safety.

”Finding a safe and efficicatious vaccine is the ultimate goal that has become a global emergency, to significantly impact and to change the course of the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused so much devastation and misery to the whole of humankind and the future of the world,” said Eskom.

– Source:
According to the Mandela Day Global Network, Mandela Day 2020 will be going digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mandela Day celebrated on 18 July, is an annual international day adopted by the United Nations. Now this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mandela Day will be celebrated digitally.

According to the Mandela Day Global Network, this means you can volunteer safely from your home or office – by using your skills and interests to help a cause – online. The network is said to be a community of organisations, government, corporates and individuals that partner with the Nelson Mandela Foundation to drive Mandela Day and pursue its objectives.

“There is so much good that can be done virtually – coaching, mentoring, finance, tech support, marketing. You can also purchase much-needed items online and arrange to have them delivered to the cause of your choice. And of course, a monetary donation goes a long way too.”
  • Help Kids Haven by lighting up a special picture in their 67 squares, for Mandela Day – with a donation of food or clothing.
  • Help Phakamani Young Minds Academy with 1 000 volunteers for Signing to My School Card Free Card this Mandela Month.
  • Help Phakamani Young Minds Academy raise R20 000 for purchasing data for Grade 12s this Mandela Month.
  • Help Bless-a-Baby with volunteers for Bless-a-Baby @ Home – knit, sew for Mandela Day.
  • Help Halli Trust – 086-574-NPO by knitting beanies for Mandela Day.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation is also calling on South Africa to take action and play their part in the COVID-19 #Each1Feed1 campaign. By collaborating with old and new partners, the initiative is seeking to bring relief to the plight of food insecurity during and after the crisis we are facing due to the pandemic and the lockdown.

The network suggests people do things like put together stationary packs for teachers at an under-resourced school or do a neighbourhood clean-up armed with plastic gloves and black bags as the new Mandela Day strategy will primarily encourage collaborative partnerships to support initiatives in the areas of education and literacy, food and nutrition, sanitation, shelter as well as active citizenship. This approach will see a sharpened focus on early childhood development as a key investment area to make a significant dent in the scourge of poverty.

– Source:
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, engineers from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) have developed a 3D printed ventilator able to support multiple patients.
According to a statement by the university, in light of the looming ventilator shortages faced by the country, the UJ engineering team designed and developed the portable 3D printed mechanical ventilators.

The ventilator, named AURA IMPRIMERE, is not only portable, but also allows for off-grid operations for up to one and a half hours.

It also has a customisable base plate to treat multiple patients.

Professor Tien-Chien Jen, the Head of UJ's Mechanical Engineering Science Department and the project team leader, said the ventilators were ready and safe to operate.

"These unique 3D printable ventilators use a microcontroller to control the operation of the two motors. By adjusting the speed and direction of rotation of the motors, it is possible to obtain a pressure-time profile that is suitable for respiratory assistance of patients," Prof. Jen said.

Prof. Jen added that the ventilator's battery system would also ensure normal functioning when the demand for electricity exceeded the available supply. The ventilator has been designed in such a way that it can be "easily assembled, on site, in cities, rural areas or remote areas”.

– Source:
Statistics South Africa says South Africa’s mid-year population is estimated at 59.6 million in 2020.
According to a StatsSA report, Gauteng continues to record the largest share of South Africa’s population, with approximately 15.5 million people (26%) living in this province.

KwaZulu-Natal is the province with the second-largest population, with an estimated 11.5 million people (19.3%) living in this province.

Northern Cape maintained its status as the province with the lowest population in the country with a population estimated at 1.29 million people.

Western Cape has seven million people, Eastern Cape 6.7 million, Limpopo 5.8 million, Mpumalanga 4.6 million, North West 4.1 million and Free State 2.9 million people.

The report indicates that approximately 51.1% (approximately 30.5 million) of the population is female.

According to the report, about 28.6% of the population is aged younger than 15 years and approximately 9.1% (5.4 million) is 60 years or older.

Of those younger than 15 years of age, the majority resides in KwaZulu-Natal (21.8%) and Gauteng (21.4%).

Of the elderly (those aged 60 years and older), the highest percentage 24.1% (1.31 million) resides in Gauteng.

The proportion of elderly persons aged 60 grew from 7.6% in 2002 to 9.1% in 2020.

The report further shows that for the period 2016 to 2021, Gauteng and Western Cape are estimated to experience the largest inflow of migrants of approximately, 1 553 162 and 468 568, respectively.

Life expectancy at birth for 2020 is estimated at 62.5 years for males and 68.5 years for females. The infant mortality rate for 2020 is estimated at 23.6 per 1 000 live births.

– Source:
A deep space ground station is a series of satellite dishes that form part of an integrated network designed for seamless communications with deep space mission, the likes of those which would go to the moon or Mars.
The Western Cape could soon be hosting a communications centre that would help humanity make its next giant leap into space.

The area around Matjiesfontein has been identified as a possible location for a deep space ground station.

There are similar stations around the world, but only one other in the southern hemisphere and that's in Australia.

Dr Pieter Kotze from the South African National Space Agency explains why the area close to Matjiesfontein is so ideal.

“It’s in a sort of in a valley which provides excellent shielding from man-made noise and will receive signals from outer space.”

– Source:
An amateur astronomer in Centurion, South Africa, has discovered a new storm over the planet Jupiter that is now being called after him, Clyde’s Spot, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
On 31 May 2020, Clyde Foster was imaging Jupiter with his telescope when he noticed a new oval-shaped spot in an area where several storms, including the Great Red Spot, have been churning in the planet’s atmosphere for many years, NASA said on its website.

“Foster noticed a new spot, which appeared bright as seen through a filter sensitive to wavelengths of light where methane gas in Jupiter’s atmosphere has strong absorption. The spot was not visible in images captured just hours earlier by astronomers in Australia.”

Foster told Mybroadband that “outbreaks” like these were relatively rare in the particular region of Jupiter where he found it, which was why the discovery created quite a bit of interest in the professional-amateur planetary science community.

“It is a regular occurrence in Jupiter’s North and South Equatorial belts, but substantially rarer in this location, the South Temperate region,” he told the news site.

On 2 June 2020, two days after Foster’s observations, Juno performed its 27th close flyby of Jupiter. NASA said the spacecraft could only image a relatively thin slice of Jupiter’s cloud tops during each pass. Although Juno would not be travelling directly over the outbreak, the track was close enough that the mission team determined the spacecraft would obtain a detailed view of the new feature, which has been informally dubbed “Clyde’s Spot”.

“The feature is a plume of cloud material erupting above the upper cloud layers of the Jovian atmosphere. These powerful convective ‘outbreaks’ occasionally erupt in this latitude band, known as the South Temperate Belt (JunoCam observed another outbreak at this latitude back on 7 February 2018).”

– Source:
South African architect Jaco Booyens and SAOTA won a gold medal for their restoration of the ensemble of heritage buildings at Buffelsdrift at the seventh edition of the International Domus Restoration and Conservation Awards in Italy.
This prestigious international award recognises excellence in the field of restoration and architectural and landscape recovery at an international level. It is conceived by the company Fassa S.r.l. and by the University of Ferrara. The winners of the seventh edition in 2020, were announced online through a live streaming event on 2 July 2020.

The judging panel had to work through entries from 73 contributing countries, including among others, China, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Russia and United States. There were only two gold medals awarded, which makes this an incredible achievement for South African architecture. The second gold medal went to Giorgio Forti and Ilaria Forti for the restoration of the Façade of the church of Santa Maria Di Nazareth (Vulgo Degli Scalzi).

Booyens, who lives in Robertson, Western Cape, says: “Winning this feels a bit like winning the Olympics or the World Championships. It was totally unexpected and came as a huge surprise.”

It took Booyens and the SAOTA team four years to complete the winning project. Buffelsdrift Farm is located west of Ladismith in the Klein Karoo region of the Western Cape in South Africa.

The farm is structurally typical of South African culture, born of the intermingling of different cultures and building techniques. It is made up of several constructions dating from the mid-19th century built on a large agricultural estate that had recently been refurbished and replanted. The original buildings, made of poured earth, had undergone several modifications to the plastering and roofing, as well as to the whole, due to incongruous additions.

The restoration project attempted to clear such incongruities, returning, moreover, to traditional construction techniques. Thus, the walls were broken down, restored using clay and re-plastered using local techniques; in the same way, a broad roof pitch that had in recent times been covered with corrugated metal sheet was reconfigured using the original thatching technique with local plant materials.

Booyens says: “To honour the heritage of the existing buildings, materials were carefully selected to ensure that a little of the construction history is visible, showcasing elements of how these buildings were originally put together.”

The result is particularly convincing in the redefinition of the volumes within a natural landscape that is an integral part of the design. Winning this competition is another example of South Africa being able to compete equally in any field on an international scale.

– Source:
Singita Kruger National Park has been named No. 1 Safari Lodge in Africa as well as No. 9 in the “Top 100 Hotels in the World” in the 25th edition of the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.
Set in the remote southeastern region of the iconic Kruger National Park and home to two contemporary retreats – Singita Sweni and Lebombo Lodges – it was established in 2003. Here, Singita’s 33 000-acre private concession encompasses an isolated piece of pristine South African wilderness with wide-open spaces and dramatic landscapes teeming with wildlife.

Singita Sabi Sand was also listed at No. 4 in the “Top 10 Safari Lodges in Africa” 2020. It’s home to Ebony Lodge – the first of Singita’s lodges – which opened in 1993. For the past three decades, Singita’s guests have enjoyed the privilege of experiencing this carefully protected part of South Africa at three highly coveted lodges – Singita Ebony, Boulders and an exclusive-use villa, Castleton. The area is especially renowned for big game and frequent leopard sightings.

“To be recognised by Travel + Leisure’s readers fills us with enormous pride,” says Luke Bailes, founder and Executive Chairperson of Singita.

“These awards from the leading authority on travel could not have come at a better time. It reminds all of us at Singita that our 100-year purpose to protect and preserve large parts of African wilderness for future generations is still admired, and more relevant than ever. Twenty-seven years on, we pursue it with even more vigour and determination. Innovation and creativity have been integral in Singita’s approach since its inception and the fact that Singita’s Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand lodges were established decades ago makes winning these coveted awards particularly pleasing.”

Travel + Leisure
recognises that the travel industry is facing its most difficult challenge to date. However, even during this time, hospitality can act as a tremendous force for good, and its World’s Best Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the best travel offerings.

– Source:
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) awards the stamps of approval to places that have conformed to guidelines preparing them for tourism post-COVID-19.
The town of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape has been given Africa’s first stamp of approval from the WTTC, which has outlined what safety precautions should be taken to ensure that areas are ready to welcome back tourists post-COVID-19.

The WTCC works with private-sector tourism in across 185 countries, and has developed world-class protocols for adoption by municipalities, tourism bodies and establishments during the pandemic.

The WTCC said that Stellenbosch complied with the insights and toolkits made available to them, with their efforts aiming to ensure that tourists feel safe to travel and engage with the tourism industry once they are safely allowed to do so by their respective governments.

Democratic Alliance Western Cape spokesperson for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Deidré Baartman, said that the stamp of approval received by Stellenbosch was an indicator of the Western Cape Town’s desire to reopen for business.

“We’re proud that Stellenbosch in the Western Cape is the first in Africa to be awarded the Safe Travels Stamp,” she said.

“It’s a clear indication of the commitment of the tourism sector in this province to get up and running, ready to invite guests in the safest ways possible so that we can keep businesses alive, jobs secure, and continue to show off all the beauty this province has to offer.”

Accreditation of the Safe Travels Stamp requires adherence to stringent hygiene and safety protocols. An application process to the WTTC is followed in which applicants must demonstrate health and safety processes, staff training, flexibility in reservation terms, and compliance with “new normal” guidelines from the global body.

“The WTTC offers private-public partnership toolkits and resources for the benefit of both private-sector tourism and government departments,” said Baartman.

“I call on all tourism representative bodies to strive to achieve this same level of recognition as demonstrated by Stellenbosch.”

– Source:
South Africa’s beloved Siya Kolisi was named as the Most Influential Person in Rugby by United Kingdom-based magazine, “Rugby World”, adding to a list of accolades received by the Springbok captain since he guided South Africa to Rugby World Cup (RWC) glory last November.
Rugby World publishes a list of the most influential people in the game every year and Kolisi took the top spot for 2020, with three more South Africans on the list.

Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, who led the Boks’ charge in Japan last year, features at number six on the list, while SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, is 15th.

The fourth South African in the Top 50 is newly-appointed Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber, who was the assistant coach in charge of the Boks’ defence at the RWC last year, where South Africa conceded only four tries in their seven matches.

Respected Sunday Times journalist, Stephen Jones, a columnist for Rugby World, wrote that Kolisi is definitely the “most influential man in rugby at the moment”.

“He’s also probably the most visionary and the most courageous,” continues Jones.

“Kolisi appreciates the power of rugby, and has the standing and authority and intelligence to be a statesman as well, to know exactly what he is saying and why it means everything.

“You also get the impression of this great man that he is saying exactly what he believes, with no gilding of his words for anyone’s consumption.”

– Source: /
Stay Connected with us
facebook   youtube

For back issues of NewsFlash, visit:


video button video button fina winners