Issue 494 | 23 September 2021
    It's Your Voice   UBUNTU Magazine   UBUNTU Radio  
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One Costitution, One Nation - 25 Years of the Constitution
Heritage Month 2021
Tourism Month 2021
President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the general debate of the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday, 23 September 2021.
The in-person and virtual gathering opened on Tuesday with an address from the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, and is expected to continue over the next week.

“During the general debate, heads of delegation are expected to state the positions of their governments on topical issues that the UN is seized with, pertaining to the three pillars of the work of the UN system, namely, peace and security, human rights, and development.

“The general debate will also provide member states with an opportunity to raise matters relating to priorities and concerns that are of a national, regional and global nature,” The Presidency said.

The theme for this year's UNGA is "Building Resilience through Hope – To Recover from COVID-19, Rebuild Sustainably, Respond to the Needs of the Planet, Respect the Rights of People, and Revitalise the United Nations”.

Issues that are expected to be debated at the General Assembly include:
  • recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • discussions on the UN Secretary-General’s report entitled, “Our Common Agenda", following the 75th anniversary of the UN
  • the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on the Sustainable Development Goals
  • climate change and the upcoming Conference on Climate Change (COP26), to be held in Glasgow in November 2021
  • reform of the UN
  • peace and security.
President Ramaphosa also addressed the Opening Plenary Meeting of the High-Level Meeting on the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action on Wednesday, 22 September.

The President’s pre-recorded video address reflected on the 20 years since Durban hosted the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

“The 2001 declaration embodies the commitments of the international community to address the legacy of the past, as well as contemporary forms and manifestations of racism and racial discrimination, including the acknowledgement that slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity.

“The Programme of Action recommends how member states and other stakeholders should implement these commitments,” The Presidency said.

As an outcome of this week’s High-Level Meeting, member states will adopt a political declaration aimed at mobilising political will at the national, regional and international levels for the full and effective implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and its follow-up processes.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed a virtual Global COVID-19 Summit on Wednesday, 22 September 2021, at the invitation of United States President Joe Biden.
The theme of the summit was “Ending the Pandemic and Building Better Health Security to Prepare for the Next”.

“President Ramaphosa has been central in the global leadership response to the pandemic over and above being the COVID-19 Champion for the African Union and the continent,” The Presidency said.

According to the White House, "this meeting was about expanding and enhancing our shared efforts to defeat COVID-19, building out from previous gatherings of world leaders and Ministers in fora like the G7, G20, and Act Accelerator".
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, on Monday, 20 September 2021, arrived in New York, where she is participating in the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76).
This year’s UNGA is scheduled for 20 to 28 September 2021 under the theme: “Building Resilience through Hope – To Recover from COVID-19, Rebuild Sustainably, Respond to the Needs of the Planet, Respect the Rights of People, and Revitalise the United Nations”. The theme was announced by the President of the General Assembly (PGA), Mr Abdulla Shahid, of the Maldives.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the General Debate and high-level meetings of the 76th Session of UNGA, are held in a hybrid in-person and virtual format.

President Ramaphosa will deliver a pre-recorded video statement at the General Debate on 23 September 2021. During the General Debate, which commenced on 21 September 2021, heads of the delegation are expected to state the positions of their governments on topical issues that the UN is seized with.

President Ramaphosa also delivered a pre-recorded video statement at the High-Level Meeting on the 20th anniversary of the World Conference against Racism and the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) on 22 September 2021. Minister Pandor participated in the round-table discussions in person.
The High-Level Meeting to commemorate the DDPA took place under the theme: “Reparations, Racial Justice and Equality for People of African Descent”. South Africa and Portugal have co-facilitated and lead consultations on the political declaration and modalities of the high-level meeting. As an outcome of the High-Level Meeting, member states adopted a political declaration aimed at mobilising political will at national, regional and international levels for the full and effective implementation of the Durban DPAA and its follow-up processes.
Minister Pandor also attended several high-level meetings and side events taking place on the margins of UNGA. Among other events, the Minister is expected to co-chair the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Article XIV Conference with her Italian counterpart on 23 September 2021 and will deliver a pre-recorded statement at the High-Level Meeting on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on 28 September 2021.

The Minister participated in bilateral meetings with counterparts, as well as with representatives of the UN system.
Minister Pandor stated that: “Attending UNGA76 is of priority to South Africa. We have consistently called for the strengthening of multilateralism as the only system that would allow the world to collaborate and deliver fair outcomes for all states in the wake of the pandemic. A socio-economic response is required with additional assistance to developing countries.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent his condolences on the passing of Professor Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize, the Deputy Minister in The Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.
Prof. Mkhize passed away recently at the age of 69.

The President extended his condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, comrades and associates of the late Deputy Minister across the country and internationally.

Prof. Mkhize was appointed to The Presidency in May 2019.

President Ramaphosa said Prof. Mkhize’s passing constituted a national loss.

“Prof. Mkhize’s legacy is indelible across so many dimensions and sectors of our national life. She distinguished herself as a tireless and passionate anti-apartheid and human rights activist, and campaigner for an end to gender inequality.

“She availed herself for service at the international level, including her representation of Transparency International South Africa in global institutions. Prof. Mkhize played a crucial role in conflict resolution during our transition to democracy.

“We owe Prof. Mkhize our gratitude and deep respect for the commitment she displayed as a Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Chairperson of the Reparations and Rehabilitation Committee and trustee of the National Peace Accord Trust.

“She set a profound example for all of us by immersing herself in building a better South Africa, while pursuing a multifaceted path as an academic, from the universities of Zululand, Natal and South Africa, to Mississippi and Illinois in the United States,” the President said.

President Ramaphosa said Prof. Mkhize applied her extraordinary personal achievements to the upliftment of traumatised children, to asserting the equality of oppressed women, to upholding the human rights of victimised and persecuted people around the world, and ensuring the doors of learning would open wide to new generations of South Africans.

“She played her part unselfishly and with great love for humanity. Our task is to keep her legacy intact and build on it,” President Ramaphosa said.

Before her appointment to The Presidency, Prof. Mkhize served as Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Home Affairs Minister and Minister of Higher Education and Training.

She was also a former Ambassador to the Netherlands.

Prof. Mkhize will be honoured with an Official Funeral Category 2 at her home in Johannesburg, Gauteng, on Saturday, 25 September 2021.

– Source:
International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Naledi Pandor, has revealed that the African Union (AU) will discuss the decision of the union’s commission chairperson to grant Israel observer status in the organisation.
Minister Pandor said the matter would come before the AU in October during a session.

She said at the meeting of the AU, they would push for the body to rescind this decision.

South Africa and other countries had objected to the decision of the AU Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki, to grant Israel observer status in the continental body.

Minister Pandor, who was replying to a written parliamentary question from the EFF, said they still objected to this decision.

“The Government of the Republic of South Africa has formally lodged an objection to the unilateral decision by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to grant the State of Israel observer status to the African Union. Consequently, the matter has been placed on the agenda of the AU executive council that will convene on October 13 and 14, 2021.

“South Africa and other like-minded countries that have lodged objections will, at the executive council meeting, vigorously pursue the conviction that the AU must, as a matter of urgency, rescind the decision on Israel's observer status, unless and until it complies with all United Nations (UN) resolutions concerning its withdrawal from all occupied territories and give effect to the self-determination of the Palestinian people,” she said.

Asked whether the Government would shut down the Embassy of Israel, Minister Pandor said it was not on the table.

South Africa downgraded its mission in Israel to a liaison office after a resolution of the African National Congress at Nasrec in 2017.

“South Africa maintains diplomatic relations with Israel and as per the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Israel has an embassy in South Africa and South Africa maintains an embassy in Israel. There are no plans to request the closure of the Israeli Embassy in South Africa,” said Minister Pandor.

– Source:
The Government of South Africa is puzzled at the United Kingdom’s (UK) decision to keep South Africa on the Red List of countries facing stringent restrictions and high costs when entering the UK.
Thousands of families and business people in South Africa and the UK are shocked at this continued exclusion, especially given South Africa’s progress in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic as evidenced by the rapid declining infection rates due to the robust vaccination programme and excellent science.

Commenting on the decision to keep South Africa on the Red List, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, said: “We firmly believe there is no reasonable basis for keeping South Africa on the Red List and I am very disappointed.”

Minister Pandor said her department, working with other stakeholders, would intensify efforts to have South Africa removed from the list and was optimistic that the Government of the UK would finally realise that their decision was not harming just the tourism industry but other businesses from both countries.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has, on behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, expressed her deepest condolences to the Government and people of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria following the passing on of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
HE Bouteflika passed away on Friday, 17 September 2021, at the age of 84.

The former President was a veteran of Algeria’s war for independence and an accomplished diplomat, who served as Algeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. He promoted Algeria as a leader in the Non-Aligned Movement. The former President relentlessly defended the worldwide decolonisation process and ensured the isolation of the South African regime by the international community for its policy of apartheid.

President Bouteflika co-authored, together with Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo, the New Africa Initiative that subsequently became the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

Within the African Union, South Africa, Algeria, Nigeria and Ethiopia established the Committee of Four that provided a unique leadership to pursue the African Renaissance within the continental body.

South Africa enjoys historic and excellent relations with the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and regards it as a strategic partner in the region and the continent.

“We stand with the people and the Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria during this difficult time of loss and mourning.

“May His Excellency Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s soul rest in eternal peace.”
Tourism Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, has thanked the German Government for removing South Africa from the COVID-19 Red List.
This means that the country is no longer deemed as a “high-risk” nation and that all vaccinated travellers from South Africa no longer need to have an “explanation” for purpose of entry and that locals can now visit Germany, subject to passport validity and a Schengen visa.

The department has since welcomed the move, saying it will help boost tourism sector recovery targets.

“This is great news for South Africans who travel for leisure and business. We are looking forward to welcoming back the German tourists to South Africa,” said Minister Sisulu.

According to the department, Germany has been in South Africa’s top five overseas markets and said this decision would go a long way in recovering the market losses suffered due to the pandemic and rebuilding the market.

“We thank the German Government for this progressive and scientific decision that contributes directly to the efforts to recover the tourism sector.”

September is Tourism Month and the department believes the announcement could not have come at a better time when the Minister is hosting the continent’s tourism sector at the hybrid Africa Travel and Tourism Summit in Johannesburg, Durban and Lagos, virtually.

“This announcement comes shortly after Emirates announced that they had increased their schedule to 28 weekly flights by October. This is a big boost to our tourism industry and this will see more people travelling for both leisure and business,” Minister Sisulu added.

– Source:
Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, has been named this year’s recipient of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 2021 Global Goalkeeper Award.
The award recognises a leader who has driven progress on a global scale toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mlambo-Ngcuka has been honoured for fighting for gender equality and her continued advocacy in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact on women and girls.

“By shining a light on the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on women and girls, Mlambo-Ngcuka has ensured that global and local efforts to battle COVID-19 must take into account the acute disparities they face,” said Melinda French-Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

During her tenure as Executive Director of UN Women, Mlambo-Ngcuka played a vital role in helping to spearhead and deliver the Generation Equality Forum in July 2021.

The forum helped mobilise more than US$40 billion (R593 billion) in commitments from member states, the private sector, philanthropists and civil society to drive transformative change for women and girls worldwide.

As part of its annual Goalkeepers campaign, the foundation also announced the winners of three additional Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards: Fairooz Faizah Beether from Bangladesh, Jenifer Colpas from Colombia and Satta Sheriff of Liberia.

Each awardee was recognised for their work supporting the Global Goals in their local communities.
Securing and restoring livelihoods should be top of the agenda in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, an African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) has resolved.
It is against this backdrop that an online platform for the African Green Stimulus Programme has been launched to provide an overarching framework to support the “green recovery” from COVID-19.

“This programme is intended to significantly contribute to Africa’s green recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and support the continent’s journey towards a sustainable and low-carbon development pathway,” the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, said on Thursday, 16 September 2021, in her capacity as the outgoing President at the 18th Ordinary Session of the AMCEN.

Minister Creecy described the rapid progress in the development and implementation of this African-led and -owned initiative as a source of pride for the continent.

The launch came after the Eight Special Session of the Conference, which took place late last year, recognised that the pandemic had placed additional pressure on Africa’s socio-economic development.

The Minister acknowledged that the COVID-19 outbreak had exasperated efforts to achieve sustainable development and called for continued efforts to conserve, protect and enhance the resilience of Africa’s environment to avoid similar crises in future.

“The session agreed to adopt the continental-wide African Green Stimulus Programme to support the continent’s recovery to the devastating socio-economic and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 in a sustainable manner,” she told the delegates.

AMCEN’s mandate is to provide advocacy for environmental protection in Africa and ensure that basic human needs are met adequately and in a sustainable manner.

It also aims to ensure that social and economic development is realised and that agricultural activities and practices meet the food security needs of the region.

“This pandemic has affected all facets of our lives and I wish to extend my condolences to all those who have lost loved ones, friends and colleagues.”

Since last year, she said the conference had decided to respond to the impact of the pandemic in such a way that it would inspire hope.

“In line with this year’s theme for the 18th Ordinary Session of AMCEN, ‘Securing People’s Well-being and Ensuring Environmental Sustainability in Africa’, securing and restoring people’s livelihoods should be a priority in the wake of this pandemic.”

The United Nation's (UN) Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, Inger Andersen, said Africa suffered the most from the climate crisis, from nature and biodiversity to the pollution crisis.

“It is a crisis that we have to face while dealing with the ongoing human and economic tragedy of COVID-19,” she said, adding that the pandemic has erased nearly 5% of per capita income in Africa, while food prices are soaring globally.

According to Andersen, if the green stimulus measure is done right, it could boost the economy in the short term, deliver growth pathways that are sustainable and mitigate environmental degradation.

All of these “wins” would deliver livelihoods, food security, economic prosperity and peace.

She described the stimulus programme as a critical step in taking advantage of this opportunity.

“The programme hits all the right notes: climate action, air quality, land restoration, biodiversity, blue economy, green cities and so on," Andersen added.

Minister Creecy said it was an honour and privilege to preside over the august conference over the past two years and extended her best wishes to her successor, Minister Abdul Karim Sall of Senegal.

– Source:
South Africa has formally nominated and lodged papers for Professor Mthunzi Perry-Mason Mdwaba to run as the next Director-General (DG) of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Ambassador Mxolisi Nkosi lodged the papers nominating the Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at the University of Western Cape as the next ILO supremo, endorsed by the Southern African Development Community Tripartite and also by the African Union.

The election of the new DG will be held in March 2022, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Prof. Mdwaba has expressed his commitment to the ILO ideals of decent work and dignity, and to strengthening tripartism.

“It is my expressed desire to contribute to building an ILO that systematically demonstrates it cares for all its staff and constituents, and works to effectively deliver on commitments to ensure the dignity of everyone engaged in the world of work.

“Over my years of service at the ILO, I have become fiercely committed to addressing issues of social injustice at a global level. I firmly believe that the ILO and multilateralism, in general, have a profound role to play in ending injustices and ensuring the dignity of all people.

“My campaign for the ILO DG position will focus on my commitment to renew the organisation and re-position it by consolidating and enhancing all that it has achieved over the years to serve all constituencies in a balanced way, based on three pillars: Change, Social Justice and Impact,” Prof. Mdwaba said.

The election of the new DG comes just over two years after the ILO celebrated its centenary in 2019. Recognising the drastically different context of modern life, the ILO’s 187 member states, together with their global social partners, adopted the Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work.

This historic declaration seeks to promote a human-centred approach to the future of work.

– Source:
African countries have – in the past week – administered four times as many COVID-19 vaccines as they have in the past three to four weeks.
This is according to World Health Organisation (WHO) Africa Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti.

She said the increase in vaccinations was due to fast-tracked delivery of those doses.

“I am encouraged that when deliveries pick up – as they have after a new standstill for months – African countries show the resolve to keep the vaccine roll-outs moving. Last week, 13 million doses were administered in Africa up from a weekly average of three to four million in the previous weeks,” she said.

Dr Moeti added that she expected at least 470 million doses to be delivered to African countries via the COVAX facility by December this year.

She said although this remained encouraging, the doses would only be enough to vaccinate 17% of Africans with at least double that amount needed to reach 40% of the population.

Africa still remains behind the rest of the world in vaccinations administered with only 3.6% of the continent’s population fully vaccinated.

“Export bans and vaccine hoarding still have a chokehold on the lifeline of vaccine supplies to Africa. As long as wealthy countries lock COVAX and the African Union out of the market, Africa will miss its vaccination goals. The huge gap in vaccine equity is not closing anywhere near fast enough. It is time for vaccine-manufacturing countries to open the gates and help protect those facing the greatest risk,” she said.

Speaking on the issue of the administration of booster doses of the vaccines, Dr Moeti said that scientists had not yet reached a full conclusion on the issue.

“Current evidence suggests that third doses should be given only to people facing a high risk of severe illness and dying despite being fully vaccinated, particularly those with compromised immune systems. For now, with so many people around the world yet to receive a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine, fully vaccinated and healthy people should not be given a booster dose,” she said.

The regional director once again called on countries with doses exceeding their needs to share with countries in need.

“The huge gap in vaccine equity is not closing anywhere near fast enough. The quickest way to end this pandemic is for countries with reserves to release their doses so that other countries can buy them. Countries with enough doses should give up their places in the manufacturing queue for COVAX,” she said.

– Source:
KwaZulu-Natal province is set to host the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC from 15 to 21 November 2021.
A high-powered delegation, led by the former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday, 16 September 2021, visited the province for a signing ceremony. The ceremony was preceded by roadshows in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Obasanjo is the Chairperson of the Advisory Council of the IATF2021.

He was joined by KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala; the President of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah; African Union (AU) Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining, Albert Muchanga; Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Wamkele Mene; KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Ravi Pillay; and Mayor of the eThekwini Municipality, Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda, in the signing ceremony.

The Advisory Council discussed preparatory arrangements and reviewed progress made thus far.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been identified as one of the major factors that will determine how the event is held this year.

The IATF2021 is positioned as a unique and valuable platform for businesses to explore an integrated African market of over 1.2 billion people, with a combined GDP of over US$2.5 trillion created under the AfCFT.

As such, the theme for this year’s event is “Building Bridges for a Successful AfCFTA: A Clear Focus on a Single Market for Goods and Services across 55 Countries, which is aimed at Boosting Trade and Investment”.

The KwaZulu-Natal IAFT2021 event is expected to generate over US$40 billion in trade and investment deals, attended by over 5 000 conference participants, 10 000 visitors and buyers and over 1 100 exhibitors.

The event is organised by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat and hosted by Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

– Source:
Firefighters from Working on Fire deployed in Manitoba, Canada, returned home on 16 September 2021
The 109 firefighters and management from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s Working on Fire programme returned to South Africa on Thursday, 16 September 2021, after a successful deployment to Manitoba, Canada, where the South Africans assisted provincial firefighting authorities with wildland firefighting efforts.

These firefighters and management left South Africa on 10 August 2021 and at the time of their arrival in Winnipeg, Canada was experiencing high fire dangers, their available wildland fire management resources within the country were exhausted and they were on their highest level, National Preparedness Level 5.

The firefighting divisions were deployed to various active fires in Manitoba from Friday 13 August 2021, Loon Straits in the Eastern Sector and the Cold Lake complex in the Western Sector where multiple fires were burning.
The Cape Town-made JetRIB Sea Ranger received the Innovation Award at the International Maritime Rescue Federation’s annual celebration recently.
In a statement released on Friday, 17 September 2021, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, welcomed the news.

“This week, I had the opportunity to inspect this revolutionary boat at the Bellville shipyard of Droomers Yahama, who partnered with Admiral Powercats in designing and producing the JetRIB.

“It was made especially for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), which has decades-long experience in conducting rescues along South Africa’s notoriously treacherous 3 000-km coastline,” Vos said.

He called Cape Town’s boat-builders industry leaders when it came to innovation, design and quality, and it is the primary driver in helping the Western Cape become the largest marine manufacturing centre in the country.

Vos said this industry had generated more than R2.3 billion in 2018, in export revenue, and the province housed about 45% of South Africa’s boat builders.

He said the City of Cape Town’s boating exports had grown by about 20.5% year-on-year, since 2014, attracting a trade balance of about R1.042 billion annually.

The industry has also supported more than 11 000 jobs in Cape Town.

“One of my proudest moments as a mayco member was the launch of the City-funded BlueCape, which is working closely with companies to expand on the benefits of Cape Town’s ocean economy, and provide jobs and social upliftment.

“BlueCape and its partners will focus on three growth areas: marine manufacturing (boat-building, surfboards, kites, sailing apparel, wetsuits, etc); super yacht production and maintenance; and ocean sports (recreation, events and adventure tourism),” said Vos.

– Source: IOL
The new Skywalk on top of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve will protrude about 12 metres out from the cliff and will be about 5 metres wide.
The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency recently held an official sod-turning ceremony for the God’s Window Skywalk in the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve. Once complete in 2023, the project will allow visitors to experience one of South Africa’s most iconic vistas in an entirely new way.

Located at the zenith of Mpumalanga’s Panorama Route, God’s Window offers visitors a panoramic view of the Lowveld more than 900 metres down into a lush indigenous forest-clad ravine. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Indian Ocean and Maputo. The skywalk will be a cantilevered glass walkway suspended off the edge of the cliff to give visitors a 360-degree panoramic view.

The procurement process for the skywalk, which was first envisioned in 2004, commenced in 2019 following the National Treasury Guidelines and the PPP Toolkit for Tourism to develop a state-of-the-art facility. The development is to be procured using the design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) approach. Mapulana Canyon (Pty) Ltd was appointed to invest, design, operate and manage the project, which will be transferred to the landowners at the end of the concession period.

Mapulana Canyon is a unique partnership between Motsamayi Tourism and Land Claimants from the Blyde River (The Blyde Valley Community Property Association). At launch, the concession for the site will be run by Motsamayi Tourism Group, which has experience in running the Concession funicular at Cape Point, which consists of the funicular and F&B offerings, Kruger Shalati: The Train on the Bridge, The Kruger Station and the newly refurbished Sanctuary Mandela – the boutique hotel built on the site of former president Nelson Mandela’s Houghton Residence.

The Skywalk is designed to be a global iconic attraction with a number of activities on-site: the skywalk, a sky bridge, a sky swing, a zero-gravity room, a conference and meeting facility. The plan is for a significant part of the activities to be run by local unemployed youths from the area.

“As vaccination rates around the world pick up and COVID-19 becomes more manageable, we fully expect local and international visitor numbers at South Africa’s tourism hotspots to pick up,” says Jerry Mabena, CEO of Motsamayi Tourism Group. “We applaud Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency for having the vision to develop one of its most iconic destinations and look forward to playing our role in making God’s Window a global must-see location.”

“Our desire is to see this beautiful project acting as an instrument to put the area back into its place as a world-class tourism destination. We believe that this project will energise the area and create new jobs and support other attractions in the area,” says Mabena.

“The Blyde River region attracts nearly one million visitors annually,” adds Mabena. “Projects like the skywalk will do a lot to increase those numbers and encourage people to roam in the area for longer, which in turn will increase visitor spend to the region while exposing more people to one of South Africa’s most beautiful locations. It will also be the first skywalk of its kind in South Africa and one of a very few to have been built around the world.”

– Source:
South African pizzeria Massimo’s wins second “50TopPizza” Best in Africa title, honoured all the way from the home of Pizza – Naples, Italy!
The Oscars Awards of Pizza took place recently, and a South African pizzeria earned the top title for the African continent. 50toppizza is a platform based in Naples, Italy, that serves as a guide for good pizza around the world, and every year they host an award ceremony for the best of the best.

Everyone loves pizza, and there is a pizza for everyone, you name it, and it will probably be pretty good on a pizza! That is why 50toppizza started their awards. To make things as fair as possible, the awards are split into continental competitions.

The African continent is home to some incredible pizzerias, but the top prize goes to Massimo’s in Hout Bay. The South African pizzeria went up against the best restaurants from Cairo in Egypt, Nairobi in Kenya and Dakar in Senegal.

This is the second win for the local pizzeria! They now have the titles for 2019 and 2021.

– Source:
It is said that imagination is the highest kite one can fly, so this October, Cape Mental Health invites you to rise against the wind and join them at the Hybrid 27th Cape Town International Kite Festival. From 2 to 31 October, bold kites all over the world will soar skywards to show that #EveryoneDeservesToFly.
The Cape Town International Kite Festival is the oldest kiting event in Africa and has been proudly hosted by Cape Mental Health since 1994, to raise funds and promote mental wellness. It is traditionally one of the biggest kite festivals on the African continent and attracts professional kiters from around the world who fund their way to Cape Town in support of Cape Mental Health (unlike other international festivals where the kiters’ travel is usually sponsored by the organisers).

Cape Mental Health’s annual flagship event is going hybrid for its 27th edition, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to raise over R100 000,00 to enable this hard-working non-profit organisation to continue providing essential free mental healthcare services and ensuring that everyone, regardless of who they are or where they live, can enjoy equality in mental health access and care in an unequal world.

The festival opens on 10 October – World Mental Health Day (WMHD). This year, the theme for WMH is “Mental Health in an Unequal World” as the world faces a global mental health crisis and people in poor and under-reserved communities and rural areas struggle to access even basic mental health treatment at a community level.

According to Dr Ingrid Daniels, CEO of Cape Mental Health and President of the World Federation for Mental Health, “Mental health is regarded as the third-highest burden of disease in South Africa, but remains the most neglected aspect of healthcare, competing with other medical conditions, including the health costs of the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine roll-out. Naturally, this underinvestment in mental health has a significant impact on access to mental health in poor and under-resourced communities and rural areas. We call for equality in mental healthcare – our people deserve nothing less.”

Flying against the winds of adversity, this year’s interactive event combines real-life open-air kite-flying with online kite-making workshops, competitions and videos.

Join kiters all over the globe and fly your kite at the Hybrid 27th Cape Town International Kite Festival, anywhere and anytime between 2 and 31 October. Share your photos, videos and messages of encouragement, tagging #EveryoneDeservesToFly and @CTKiteFest.

– Source:
The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthetwa, has congratulated the senior national women’s football side, Banyana Banyana, on their victory in the first-ever Aisha Buhari football cup.
Six of Africa’s top ranked teams, including women’s football powerhouses Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria, competed in the tournament held in Nigeria.

Following a week of football action comprising at least four matches, Banyana eventually ran out as cup winners after beating Africa’s top-ranked team, Nigeria, 4 - 2 in the final.

“Banyana Banyana’s dominance is indeed something that deserves all our praise. The ladies’ national team, under the guidance of Coach Desiree Ellis, has done us proud. This demonstrates that it doesn’t matter where the game is played. If you are well prepared, nothing will deter you from achieving your objective,” Minister Mthethwa said.

Speaking to the SA Football Association's media team, Ellis called the victory over Nigeria a win for South African women’s football.

“The victory is not just for us here in Nigeria but it is for everyone back home who is involved and has contributed to women’s football – from Sasol to Hollywood Super League.”

Ellis said the players showed composure and control in what is considered one of the biggest match-ups in African women’s football.

“Looking back at the game, we were in control most of the time. We played at the tempo that we wanted. We controlled a lot of aspects of the game, though we gave a lot of free kicks away, which was dangerous but we handled it very well.

“I think the players showed a lot of confidence and character to take control back. We took control and we managed the game very well.”

The Sport Minister said the upcoming women’s COSAFA Cup – a southern African regional tournament – would present a good opportunity for the country to show its support for the women’s senior national football team.

“We are looking forward to their upcoming COSAFA challenge and our wish is for the nation to do the right thing, and go and vaccinate in large numbers so that, at least, we can have a significant portion of fans behind Banyana Banyana. Our national team deserves all the support they can get,” he said.

The COSAFA Cup is expected to kick off on 28 September in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape.

– Source:
The Blitzboks were victorious at the Vancouver Sevens on Sunday, 19 September 2021, downing African neighbours Kenya 38-5 in the final.
Due to COVID-19, the 2021 World Series has been reduced to just two rounds – the second takes place in Edmonton this coming weekend – and many of the world's top teams are not present.

With the likes of New Zealand, Fiji and Australia not participating, the Blitzboks were the overwhelming favourites heading into the weekend and they did not disappoint.

They scored six tries in the final through Angelo Davids (2), Sakoyisa Makata, Chris Grobbelaar, Ronald Brown and Darren Adonis and had a commanding 24-0 lead at half-time.

Earlier, coach Neil Powell's men were tested in their semi-final against Great Britain, where two late tries from Zain Davids secured a 26-12 win after the Blitzboks had been 12-7 down at half-time.

In their quarter-final, a hat-trick from Davids helped the South Africans wallop Spain 54-5.

"It was amazing just to be out there playing again, especially in front of a great crowd. It was great to have two African teams in the final, and it's always a fierce encounter with Kenya," Powell said.

"I'm really proud of the boys, there's a lot of youngsters who are the next generation of Springboks sevens, and they've done really well."

– Source:
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