Issue 512 | 3 March 2022
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for mediation in order to resolve the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

A Russian military invasion of Ukraine is currently unfolding and has left many Ukrainian civilians and military recruits dead and hundreds wounded.
“That conflict should be subjected to mediation, negotiation [and] engagement. It is not necessary for people to go to war and have people getting killed, and infrastructure getting damaged.

“Countries of the world, particularly the United Nations [UN] Security Council should be getting more engaged in a mediation process. This is what I believe should happen to bring the hostilities to an end,” he said.

President Ramaphosa said government was expected to have discussions with Russia and the United States of America in an effort to curb the violence. He called on the UN Security Council to resolve the conflict.

“I call upon the UN Security to do their mediation work. If ever there was a time in the world where the UN Security Council needs to come into its own, this is the time where they must put their heads together and ensure that this war stops,” President Ramaphosa said.

On 2 March 2022 the UN General Assembly (UNGA) overwhelmingly adopted a resolution that “demands” Russia “immediately” withdraw from Ukraine. South Africa was one of 35 countries that abstained from voting.

In a statement, South Africa’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Mathu Joyini, explained:

“South Africa remains deeply concerned by the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and the regional and international socio-economic implications. We strongly urge all sides to uphold international law, including humanitarian law and human rights law, as well as the principles of the UN Charter, including sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“The conflict involves two members of the United Nations in an armed conflict, which this organisation has at its foundation the responsibility to prevent. The UN, therefore, must take decisions and actions that will lead to a constructive outcome conducive to the creation of sustainable peace between the parties.

“The resolution that we have considered today does not create an environment conducive for diplomacy, dialogue, and mediation. While we agree with, and support the efforts taken by Member States to bring to the attention of the international community the situation in Ukraine, South Africa feels that greater attention should have been paid to bringing the sides closer to dialogue. For South Africa, the text in its current form could drive a deeper wedge between the parties rather than contributing to a resolution of the conflict.

“The resolution should have welcomed the commencement of negotiations between the parties. Additionally, the role of the Security Council as well as the Good Offices of the UN Secretary-General could have been given more prominence in the resolution.”

“It is understood that one of the root causes of the conflict is related to the security concerns of the parties. This should have been addressed in the resolution.

“Even though this Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly is being held after the failure of the Security Council to address the matter, we believe that the Security Council should still be urged to play its role as mandated by the Charter to maintain international peace and security.

“South Africa believes that the UN, especially in the context of Emergency Special Sessions, whose nature and significance speak to the gravity of issues we bring before the international community,

should be used as a platform to build bridges, address the divergence of views, provide recommendations and support for the parties to engage with the spirit of compromise, while deescalating tensions, committing to the cessation of hostilities and building trust and confidence.

“Unfortunately, the text before us does not do that.

“South Africa would have also preferred an open and transparent process to negotiate the resolution today. This would have allowed all of us, as equal members of the Assembly, to present our views and ideally reach a level of understanding before the text was tabled.

“As member states of the organisation committed to global peace and development, we must continue to work together to promote peace. Gestures that merely create the impression of promoting peace without meaningful action will not assist.”



President Cyril Ramaphosa says the Global Fund remains vital to building strong African healthcare systems and has encouraged global leaders to show support for the Seventh Replenishment of the fund.

The President delivered a pre-recorded message at the preparatory meeting for the Seventh Global Fund Replenishment, which is expected to be hosted by United States President Joe Biden later this year.

The fund has raised at least US$53 billion in the past 20 years for the fight against HIV and AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis (TB) in at least 100 countries.

For this year’s replenishment, the Global Fund aims to raise at least US$18 billion.

“Global solidarity needs to be strengthened as we seek to build health systems on the African continent. The Global Fund is a vital part of building the resilience of African health systems, not only so that they can win the fight against HIV, TB and malaria, but also to secure the health and well-being of all Africans.

“I am therefore calling on global leaders to continue to demonstrate determination, solidarity and foresight, and to enthusiastically support the Seventh Replenishment of the Global Fund,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President highlighted that South Africa itself had benefitted from the fund, which assisted in “tackling” the three diseases.

“Twenty years ago, the world was in the midst of an AIDS pandemic. As a country, South Africa had a particularly high burden of HIV/AIDS, TB and related co-infections. South Africa has made great strides in tackling TB and HIV since then.

“Access to antiretroviral medicines and other life-saving medicines was prioritised. We extend our sincere appreciation to the Global Fund as a strategic partner for the support provided to our country for the success we have recorded,” President Ramaphosa said.

He warned that although strides had been made to curb infections, the country still had the highest cases of infection of HIV and TB and government would be stepping up its efforts to fight the two diseases.

According to the President, at least eight million people are living with HIV in the country and South Africa account for at last 3% of global TB cases.

“While we have made great progress in tackling HIV and TB – focussing on prevention, testing and treatment – we have fallen behind in reaching our 90/90/90 treatment targets. We will be focussing and quickening our pace to meet the 2025 treatment targets,” President Ramaphosa said.

He added that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had proven that governments across the world needed to sharpen the ability to respond expeditiously to future pandemics and outbreaks.

“The … pandemic has made governments, policymakers and health practitioners realise that to achieve and sustain universal health coverage we must be prepared to respond quickly in tackling pandemics.

“We need to have readily necessary resources available for testing and treatment, and the ability to quickly distribute appropriate diagnostics, medications and vaccines,” President Ramaphosa said.

– Source:



The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, participated in the High-Level Segment of the 49th Session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, Switzerland, from 28 February to 2 March 2022.

The High-Level Segment afforded countries, represented by heads of state and governments, foreign affairs ministers and/or deputy foreign affairs ministers, the opportunity to address the council on their national efforts to promote and protect human rights and international cooperation, including outlining their foreign policy approach to human rights

Minister Pandor delivered South Africa’s statements at the High-Level Segment and on the High-Level Mainstreaming Panel in the afternoon of 28 February 2022. Minister Pandor also used the opportunity of the High-Level Segment to launch South Africa’s campaign for membership of the HRC for the period 2023 to 2025.

The annual High-Level Panel on Human Rights Mainstreaming was held under the theme: “The Contribution of Universal Participation to the Mainstreaming of Human Rights throughout the United Nations System, on the Occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Voluntary Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in the Work of the Human Rights Council”.

Other dignitaries who participated in the High-Level Session were the President of the General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid; the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres; the President of the HRC, Ambassador Frederico Villegas (Argentina); the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet; and the representative of the host country (Switzerland).

In the evening of Monday, 28 February 2022, Minister Pandor delivered the keynote address at the event organised to launch South Africa’s campaign for membership of the HRC for the period 2023 – 2025.

The HRC is made up of 47 UN member states. Every year, UN member states elect a third of the UNHRC members directly and individually by secret ballot for a period of three years. Members of the council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms. When electing members of the council, the UN General Assembly considers the contribution of the candidate state to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto.

The composition of the council is based on equitable geographical distribution and seats are distributed as follows among regional groups: African states (13 seats), Asia-Pacific states (13 seats), Latin American and Caribbean states (eight seats), Western European and other states (seven seats) sand Eastern European states (six seats).

The 13 African states seats are occupied by: Benin (2024), Cameroon (2024), Cõte d’Ivoire (2023), Eritrea (2024), Gabon (2023), Gambia (2024), Libya (2022), Malawi (2023), Mauritania (2022), Namibia (2023), Senegal (2023), Somalia (2021), and Sudan (2022). Benin covers human rights issues from Paris, with limited capacity.

Minister Pandor also used the opportunity of her visit to Geneva to hold bilateral discussions with some of her counterparts.




As South Africa prepares to host its Fourth Investment Conference later this month, Minister Ebrahim Patel has hailed this key event as a boon to the country’s target of netting R1.2 trillion in investment.


“President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018 committed to raising over R1.2 trillion worth of investments over a five-year period, and hosted three annual investment conferences, at which he set out the policy context and reforms, and the private sector provided feedback and made pledges to invest.

“Pledges received in the first three investment conferences amounted to roughly 64% of the five-year Investment Mobilisation Drive target of R1.2 trillion,” said the Trade, Industry and Competition Minister at a briefing on Monday, 28 February 2022.

Minister Patel said at the third Investment Conference, pledges of about R774 billion had been made.

Of the 152 investment announcements made previously, 45 projects have already been completed (meaning that the construction of the facility has been completed, or where it involves new machinery or equipment, these have been procured and installed; or that production has started).

A further 57 projects are currently under construction.

Some 15 projects were either progressing slowly or had been put on hold due to the impact of the pandemic or economic factors, the Minister said.

“As of February 2022, those firms who have completed their reporting have advised that R314 billion (40.6%) of the committed investment pledges have been expended.”

Companies back investment drive

Takalani Netshitenzhe, the Chief Officer: External Affairs from Vodacom, said four years ago at the first Investment Conference, the company pledged to invest R50 billion on fibre and mobile networks over a period of five years.

“We are living up to our pledge,” she said.

Naspers Director of Cooperate Affairs, Helen Ndlovu, said they were committed to this year’s Investment Conference as a means of continuing to help promote South Arica as an attractive investment destination, re-establishing confidence in the economy, and driving sustainable and inclusive growth as a proudly South African company.

Ndlovu said as a proudly South African business that had grown into a global consumer Internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world, they recognised the value of investment in unlocking the potential of South African companies and the role of these companies in creating jobs, stimulating growth and encouraging investor confidence.

“As Naspers, we have seen first-hand what the right investment, business support and partnerships can do in growing tech start-ups and also what the requisite digital skills training, opportunities and experience can do for young graduates entering the workplace.

“We have seen great progress but also recognise that there is a lot more work to be done by all stakeholders. It is for these reasons that Naspers is again a proud sponsor of the South Africa Investment Conference.”

She said they believe that as the economy reopened, there would be growing recognition of South Africa as a world-class investment destination, one with solid infrastructure, a young, hard-working and talented population, and an investment destination that has the potential to be a leader in driving technological innovation across Africa and beyond.

“During the first Investment Conference in 2018, we pledged R4.6 billion for investing in new technology start-ups and in growing our existing South Africa businesses.”

Minister Patel highlighted pledges from other companies as follows:

Aspen: The company made a pledge of R3.4 billion at the 2018 Investment Conference that has now been fully executed and has provided Africa with much of its first vaccine manufacturing capability (for the J&J vaccine), with an estimated 160 million doses that have been produced in South Africa
The company has also built Africa’s first anaesthetic production facility, producing propofol under the brand name Diprivan, for the domestic market and exports.

Mercedes Benz: The company pledged R10 billion during the 2018 Investment Conference. An additional R3 billion was added to this total amount subsequently when the scope of the investment project was widened.

This investment resulted in the local production of the new C-Class sedan from June 2021. The new C-class will be produced in three locations globally: Buffalo City in South Africa, Bremen in Germany and Beijing in China.

The C-Class vehicle made in South Africa will be exported to over 100 countries.

“We have been advised that the investment will add approximately 597 new direct jobs, with a further 2 000 in the value chain,” said Minister Patel.

VM Automotive: In 2019, VM Automotive announced an investment of R426 million in a component plant in East London. VM Automotive is a 100% black-owned company that will form part of the suppliers to the C-Class Mercedes.

Toyota: At the 2019 Investment Conference, Toyota South Africa announced a R2.43-billion investment (subsequently increased) to produce a new generation model that will also have a hybrid vehicle variant.

The Corolla Cross is the first generation of commercial-scale hybrid electric vehicle to come off the South African Assembly line on 26 October 2021. The Cross will be exported to more than 40 countries across Africa.

South Africa is one of six global locations for the production of the Corolla Cross. The other locations are Thailand, Taiwan, Brazil, Japan, North America and China. More than 600 parts in the new vehicle will be produced locally.

P&G: In 2018, P&G made an announcement of R300 million to expand their facility in Kempton Park to introduce two additional plant lines. The new facility has been in production since late 2019 and created 90 jobs. The products are exported into the neighbouring Southern African Development Community countries.

P&G made a further investment pledge of R250 million at the 2020 Investment Conference to expand their manufacturing facility and the warehouse.

In2Foods: In 2018, In2Foods announced an investment of R241 million. Located in the OR Tambo Special Economic Zone, In2Foods has built a state-of-the-art 2 2700m² fresh food facility, which is described as the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and the second-largest CO2 refrigeration facility in the world. This has created 600 jobs.

The new facility will be producing 2 000 litres of soup and 10 000 pancakes per hour. In2Foods will increase the export of fresh products from OR Tambo International and is the largest supplier to Woolworths of fresh and prepared foods.

Dr Oetker: In 2020, German company Dr Oetker announced a R200-million investment in a new food manufacturing plant in Selby, Johannesburg. The new plant has been completed, creating 80 new jobs and expanding capacity at Dr Oetker for frozen pizzas and ready-made meals supplying to major retail chains. 

Bidvest: In 2018, Bidvest announced a R1-billion investment in a LPG storage facility in Richards Bay. The 22 600-ton LPG storage facility has been commissioned and is the region’s largest import terminal.     

Other investments close to completion

A number of additional investments are ready to be officially launched in the next four months, some by March 2022.
These include:

  • Sappi: Expansion of the Sappi Saiccor Mill was announced in 2018 for R7.7 billion. Capacity for dissolved pulp will be expanded by 110 000 tons to 890 000 tonnes per annum.

  • Corobrik: In 2019, the company announced an investment of R800 million to build a state-of-the-art brick manufacturing facility. Capacity will be expanded to 100 million bricks a year (currently producing 50 million bricks at the Carltonvillie, Driefontein plant).

  • Isuzu: The company launched a R1.2 billion plant for the D-Max bakkie in Gqeberha.

  • Renergen: The company has completed phase 1 of the R700-million investment announced in 2019. Commercial operations in Virginia, Free State, will start in April 2022 to produce liquid helium and liquefied natural gas.

  • Sandvik Miniing: It announced in 2020 a R287-million expansion of its remanufacturing and warehouse facility in Kempton Park.

Dimension Data: A R875-million Data Centre in Johannesburg was announced in 2020.

SAIC 2022

Minister Patel said preparations for the fourth South African Investment Conference (SAIC), were well underway. The conference will be held in Johannesburg on 24 March.

Of significance, this year’s conference is happening as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, government remains optimistic that a strong partnership with the private sector will help galvanise economic growth.



South Africa’s economy risks being left behind if it does not transition to a low-carbon economy, says the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy.

“Unless we join the technological transition taking place across the globe, our economy risks being left behind, and in due course, facing redundancy and/or non-competitiveness of our exports in a trade environment that favours goods and services produced in a low-carbon environment,” she said on Thursday, 24 February 2022.

Research indicates that this transition risk will affect major sectors of the country’s economy, including energy, mining, agriculture, transport and manufacturing.

“The global transition to a low-carbon economy has begun and will continue. Countries that are investing significantly in low-carbon technologies are seeking to protect their investments with a range of non-tariff and border tax adjustments.”

She made these remarks at the launch of a research publication: A Just Transition to a Carbon Future in South Africa.

Conscious of both the physical and transition risks in relation to climate change, the National Development Plan has a commitment to building a low-carbon economy and climate-resilient society by mid-century.

“Over the last two and a half years, we have steadily put in place the architecture to pursue the Paris goals. Our revised Nationally Determined Contribution to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in October last year,” the Minister said.

The range of the reduction has the two-degree temperature increase as its upper limit. The lower limit is compatible with keeping temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.

Climate Bill and carbon tax

Last year, Cabinet approved the Climate Bill for submission to the National Assembly.

“We are working with seven sectors of our economy to set sectoral emission targets and the mechanisms to monitor compliance once low emission pathways are defined.

“To enhance domestic financing of the transition, National Treasury has introduced the carbon tax, and I must say we welcome the announcements made by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana on the proposed trajectory for the carbon tax over the next 10 years,” Minister Creecy said.

The National Adaptation Strategy has been adopted and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment is working with municipalities across the country to mainstream climate resilience into municipal planning and budgeting.

Just transition

“Central to our government’s understanding of the role and place of our transition to a low-carbon economy and climate-resilient society is the understanding that this transition will only succeed if it helps us not just to address climate risk, but to also address broader development challenges.

“When government included green technology in the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, we understood that this sector can open up new sectors for energy generation, mining, manufacturing and the agricultural sector. But we are also clear that it must also help us with our broader objectives of re-industrialisation, localisation, economic inclusion and most importantly, job creation,” the Minister said.

The Minister said the just transition was not a sudden shift in economic activity but must occur in a conscious, researched and phased manner over time.

“Equally important, it must be characterised by the active involvement of workers and communities who will be impacted upon by the transition in defining both the objectives and road map of the transition.

“It is for this reason that the Presidential Climate Commission (PCC) has been established and driven by The Presidency to ensure a focussed drive on the just transition, particularly identifying pathways for all sectors and buy-in by all stakeholders.”

She said the second aspect of the climate transition was the concept of climate justice, meaning that workers and communities in sectors most effected by the transition cannot carry a disproportionate burden of the technological changes.

“A central aspect of identifying transition pathways must be addressing the transitional processes facing workers and communities and how they will be an integral part of developing and benefitting from new industries and enterprises, so that no one is left behind,” the Minister said.

– Source:



President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Ambassador Thembisile Majola as the new permanent Director-General of the State Security Agency (SSA), with effect from 1 March 2022.
In a statement on Monday, 28 February 2022, The Presidency said the appointment of a permanent head of the SSA followed President Ramaphosa’s undertaking in the State of the Nation Address to fill critical vacancies in the country’s security services.

The Presidency said Amb Majola would sail the ship at the agency for a period of three years.

Amb Majola has served as a Deputy Minister of Energy, and was South Africa’s Ambassador to Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Gambia and Guinea Bissau.

“She has held several positions in The Presidency and was a Deputy Coordinator in the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC). She was the observer on behalf of President Ramaphosa to the trilateral negotiations on the Grand Renaissance Dam during South Africa’s tenure as Chair of the African Union in 2020,” the Presidency said.

President Ramaphosa said the appointment of Amb Majola to this position was an important part of government’s work to stabilise the country’s intelligence services.

“Her extensive experience in government, international relations and security makes her well placed to lead the reform and rebuilding of the State Security Agency.

“Her appointment is expected to give greater impetus to the implementation of the report of the SSA High-Level Review Panel, and the recommendations of the Expert Panel into the July 2021 unrest,” the President said.

Following the departure of former SSA Director-General Arthur Fraser in 2018, the SSA had two acting heads, Loyiso Jafta and Ambassador Gab Msimanga.

President Ramaphosa expressed his appreciation to Jafta and Msimanga, respectively, for having held the position of Acting SSA Director-General since the departure of Fraser in 2018.

– Source:



The Irish Tech Challenge South Africa seeks to drive tech innovation alongside international cooperation to support South Africa’s economic recovery.

Regarded globally as a thriving technology hub, it is partnering with South Africa to support its economic recovery and competitiveness into a digital future, with the establishment of the Irish Tech Challenge South Africa. Ireland is the second-largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world and is home to nine of the top 10 United States tech companies, and the top five global software companies.

The Irish Tech Challenge South Africa was launched on 24 February and aims to build networks between South African and Irish tech ecosystems. It will offer exciting South African tech businesses the chance to travel to Ireland to meet and network with Irish tech companies and to reach potential partners and customers.

Established by the Embassy of Ireland in South Africa in partnership with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), and the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), the Irish Tech Challenge South Africa aims to incentivise the birth of mutually beneficial partnerships between leading Irish technology ecosystem operators and South African entrepreneurs and their businesses. In doing so, the challenge will support innovation, technology development and technology deployment and commercialisation in South Africa.

The Irish Tech Challenge South Africa will target five majority-owned South African tech businesses that address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, for example, through climate or med-tech solutions, with a particular focus on women and young entrepreneurs from historically disadvantaged communities.

Fionnuala Gilsenan, the Ambassador of Ireland to South Africa, adds, “High-growth impact-focussed tech ventures have the potential to drive meaningful innovation, economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation in South Africa, as well as across the African continent. Through the Tech Challenge, we are seeking to leverage Ireland’s significant tech expertise and position as a global tech hub, to help South African impact-focussed tech ventures scale globally and support inclusive economic growth in South Africa.”

“Governments in the global North are shifting their developmental agenda from aid, towards trade. Within this trend is the belief that technology, innovation and entrepreneurship can have a profound impact on the economic transformation of a country.  TIA, through its Enterprise Development & GCIP Unit, has collaborated with the Embassy of Ireland and DSI in developing the Ireland South Africa Technology Challenge to focus on youth and women in marginalised communities in South Africa, ultimately strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem through best practice from Ireland,” concludes  Senisha Moonsamy, Head: Enterprise Development IDS&GCIP.

The Irish Tech Challenge South Africa intends to leverage a suite of exciting benefits, such as partnering with relevant Irish ecosystem players – given Ireland’s growing reputation as a global technological hub – by offering access to European and international markets.



Cabinet has reminded all within the borders of South Africa that law enforcement and other relevant agencies are mandated to deal with issues of migration and undocumented foreign nationals.

“There is no room for any actions that violate the law such as intimidation, destruction of property and violence. We call on those with legitimate concerns to raise them with the relevant authorities so that they can be addressed constructively,” Cabinet said in a statement on Thursday, 24 February 2022.

To ensure that migration issues are addressed orderly, government recently released the draft National Labour Migration Policy for public comment.

The policy provides a framework and the legal basis to regulate the extent to which employers can employ foreign nationals in their establishments while also protecting the rights of migrants. 

– Source:



A partnership between the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the National School of Government (NSG) will enable public servants to access information from WEF’s Strategic Intelligence Platform.
The collaboration was launched on Friday, 25 February 2022, by the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo, supported by Chido Munyati, the head of WEF's Regional Agenda Africa and Stephan Mergenthaler, the head of Strategic Intelligence.

The objective of the landmark partnership is to support public-sector initiatives through access to a wide array of research, insight, publications, rich media and data for policy development, forecasting, decision-making, briefings and other needs by government departments and public-sector institutions in the WEF’s Strategic Intelligence Platform.

The information provided by the platform will be available for use by advisers, researchers, planners and content creators for different projects or activities.

The platform will complement other sources of data already available in South Africa and will provide quick access on topics from A - Z. Twelve government departments already have access to the WEF Strategic Intelligence Platform. The rest of the government departments will have access from April 2022.

The WEF engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

South Africa has a longstanding partnership with WEF and participates in annual meetings in Davos, Switzerland, and also hosts the WEF Africa Forum meeting from time to time.

Addressing the launch, Minister Dlodlo said no government could innovate and solve its problems, take advantage of emerging opportunities and avoid potential challenges and threats if it does not use information.

“The Government of South Africa has long held this view and encourages evidence-based policymaking to confront challenges and harness opportunities.

This platform will complement other data sources and will contribute to efforts towards evidence-based policymaking, and the building of a capable and professional civil service.

The President of WEF, Børge Brende, said the organisation valued its collaboration with South Africa and Africa.

“This is why we are pleased to be able to offer the National School of Governance and the wider South African public sector advanced access to our Strategic Intelligence Platform. We hope that this will play a valuable part in supporting national development efforts,” he said.

– Source:



The South African wine industry saw R10.2 billion in exports in 2021 – the highest Rand value of South African wine exports since 2014, when the current method of calculating it was introduced.

This was for 388 million litres exported, according to Wines of South Africa (WoSA), which promotes local wines in key international markets. However, WoSA said, there was also a recovery in prices.

WoSA said the development was heartening, given alcohol sales bans, local and global freight and port issues, and a shortage of glass and packaging materials.

Maryna Calow, WoSA's Communications Manager, said exports for the last few years had faced multiple challenges, including drought – which brought volumes down in 2019 especially – and in 2020, the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"But we saw a good recovery in 2021 of our export numbers. What is specifically heartening for us as an industry is the prices paid for our wines. That means there was value growth as well as volume growth," says Calow. In 2018, by comparison, a total volume of 420 million litres was exported, fetching R9.1 billion.

The value growth in 2021 was mostly in packaged wines as opposed to the bulk wine category. But volume growth was largely in the bulk export segment, because South Africa had a large supply of wine stock left in cellars, mainly due to various sales bans.

The United Kingdom, South Africa's largest wine export market, showed growth in both volume (+10%) and value (+25%) of packaged wine. The European focus markets of Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden remained largely stable.

South African wine exports to China benefitted from a trade war the latter has with Australia. African markets also recovered in 2021, with export volumes exceeding pre-COVID-19 levels. Markets driving this growth are Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Both North American markets of Canada and the United States of America have shown volume growth. This has mainly been driven by bulk wine exports.

Online wine sales have also grown during the pandemic.

"We feel positive as an industry. Our harvest so far looks like it is going very well. The hope is for further recovery in our average export volumes, especially if it could tip through the 400 million litre mark for 2022. In 2019, it was 320 million litres due to the drought, so a more normal average [pre-COVID-19] average volume was closer to 420 million litres," says Calow.

A key trend in South Africa's export markets is that consumers prefer better quality wines, even if that means they can afford smaller quantities, Calow said.

– Source:



Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has welcomed Condor Airline's intent to operate direct flights from Frankfurt to Johannesburg, says Charles Shilowa, ACSA Group Executive: Strategy and Sustainability.

Condor, a German-based leisure airline will launch two weekly flights between Frankfurt International Airport in Hessen, Germany, and OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng from November 2022.

The new direct flights will add much-needed traffic from Europe to South Africa, helping to re-ignite the tourism sector, a key driver of economic activity and job creation in the country," says Shilowa.

Condor’s flights to Johannesburg will be in addition to the three weekly flights planned for Cape Town International, scheduled to also begin in November. Condor will effectively operate five direct weekly flights into South Africa, linking Johannesburg and Cape Town to Frankfurt. Condor will operate both Johannesburg and Cape Town flights on a seasonal basis, from November 2022 to April 2023.

The airline will operate a Boeing 767-300ER with up to 259 seats in a three-class configuration (Business Class/Premium Economy Class/Economy Class). This product will cater to both corporate and leisure market segments.

Condor has an interline agreement with FlySafair, and this will link the planned Johannesburg service to Condors’ Cape Town operations. Condor’s planned operations will accelerate the recovery of ACSA’s international market segment.

Frankfurt International Airport is a global hub and gateway with extensive transatlantic connections. These additional flights will enhance South Africa’s connectivity to global markets, in particular Europe and North America.

"OR Tambo International will provide Condor with access to the Southern African Development Community market, which has a population of over 300 million and is one of the fastest-growing trade blocs in Africa," says Shilowa.

– Source:



Mpumalanga Premier, Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane, has announced that Lufthansa Airlines, through their Euro-Wings division, will soon establish a route from Frankfurt in Germany to Mpumalanga Kruger International Airport.
“This is a major boost and a welcome investment to our ailing tourism industry.

"Our continuous engagements with European airlines for direct routes to Mpumalanga are beginning to bear fruit,” Premier Mtshweni-Tsipane said on Friday, 25 February 2922, when she was delivered the State of the Province Address in the Mpumalanga Legislature.


The Premier used the occasion to outline various initiatives for attracting investments, efforts to transform the economy and create jobs.

“We have established a Just Transition and Climate Change Working Group that reports directly to the Office of the Premier on a quarterly basis. This will enable us to tap into the R131 billion that has been promised by industrialised countries to help South Africa implement a just transition to low carbon, while addressing job security for the affected communities,” Premier Mtshweni-Tsipane said.

Last year, the Premier officially launched the sky walk project along the Panorama route in Thaba Chweu Local Municipality to unlock the province’s tourism offering.

This project is a partnership between government, the private sector and the Mapulana Communal Property Association (CPA) that owns the land. The community will have a shareholding in the project. Once completed, it is expected to create more than 100 permanent jobs and during construction, 300 job opportunities will be created.

“The skywalk will turn God's Window into a global must-see location. Located at the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, the God's Window skywalk project will offer visitors a 360-degree panoramic view, with a 12-m walkaway suspended on the cliff. The skywalk will be much higher than any that was ever built in the world. We expect to attract two million tourists to the Blyde River region,” Premier Mtshweni-Tsipane said.

A total of R475 million in public-private investments has been raised for the skywalk project.

“We are making significant progress with the development of a new hotel and conference facility in Middelburg. The project is currently at earthworks stage. We anticipate completion in 18 months.

“Vodacom has announced that they will invest R450 million in their network and power backup upgrades across the province. The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) will invest R9 billion in road infrastructure in the province,” the Premier said.

SANRAL’s projects will include the upgrading of the N2 between Ermelo in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the R40 between Hazyview and Bushbuckridge.

Both these projects will create employment opportunities and will benefit enterprises owned by young people, women and people with disabilities.
The top structure buildings for the Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market will soon be completed, and the province is targeting operationalisation within the 2022/23 financial year.

Transforming the economy

Industrialisation, localisation and export promotion are priority areas that form part of the Mpumalanga Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

The plan seeks to intensify diversification of the resource-based sectors of mining, agriculture and forestry, currently dominated by large corporations, into downstream manufacturing-based industries to enable broader economic growth and labour absorption.

The Premier said the Nkomazi Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Nkomazi municipality and the Petrochemical Industrial Technology Park in Govan Mbeki Municipality had a huge potential to expand the industrial base of the province.

Consequently, these projects will stimulate economic growth, alleviate poverty and reduce unemployment, including enhancing the requisite skills demanded by the provincial economy.

“These projects offer investment opportunities for companies in agro-processing, logistics, chemical industries, training sector, warehousing, office space, conference and incubation facilities. In addition, these projects will also facilitate the export of commodities through, among others, the South African ports, including the Maputo Port or air transportation to foreign markets using Mpumalanga Kruger International Airport,” she said.

– Source:



Khayelitsha is rebuilding itself as the Cape’s tourism and entertainment hub.
The first-of-its-kind three-storey
Champagne Bar is taking this township to new heights!

Khayelitsha has recently seen a rise in new establishments, redefining the township as the Cape’s next tourism and entertainment hub with the recent development of The Spade Boutique Hotel & Spa, Rands Cape Town, Spine Road Lifestyle, Ocean Canda and Seek Lounge. These establishments join a list of long-standing, well-known eateries such as Kwa Ace and Kefu’s Jazz Bar

And now the Western Cape township has launched the Champagne Bar.

“The Milk Restaurant and Bar, which was first launched in 2018 as a premium lifestyle entertainment boutique and the first three-storey upmarket restaurant and bar in a township, is now relaunching to The Milk Restaurant & Champagne Bar after taking a hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.”

Khayelitsha is one of the largest townships in South Africa, located just outside Cape Town, known for its entrepreneurial spirit, friendly people and diverse culture. The Milk Restaurant & Champagne bar is one of the few places where you can wine and dine and lounge within the same property or establishment yet on different floors.

In 2018, Jalivane took the risk of opening the restaurant out of his own pocket and was met with overwhelming success; however, the business immediately faced challenges that caused a strain on its operations.

“I opened the business too soon. I was in a rush and wanted to get it off the ground, not knowing the challenges I would face with infrastructure. I took the kitchen equipment required for granted, which resulted badly in service delivery. Additionally, I was in financial woes. I had invested every cent in construction, borrowed money from here and there, and collectors were chasing me. I was in financial distress. I had to face the music and own up to my mistakes, which caught up with me at a later stage. Lockdown saved me because I was drowning; I was going on because I had to and had no intentions of giving up. Now that I look at it, that wasn’t healthy. Lockdown forced me to sit and simmer in my reality. It saved me because, through it, I developed a healthy working business relationship with the two successful brothers and outdoor Mecca Kings,” says Jalivane.

Spelo has partnered up with the Mbeki brothers, Mfundo and Mshayi, who are co-owners of popular eatery Rands Cape Town. The brothers are now part owner of The Milk Restaurant & Champagne bar. Jalivane says he’s very excited and looking forward to this new partnership. Though the three businessmen have collaborated on other projects before, this one signifies the importance of unity to develop the community and the township economy.

“This is a great opportunity to show what we can do when we work together as brothers, helping each other grow in business. We will learn a lot from Spelo and the same from us. This partnership means a lot for the township; it signifies owning the spaces we occupy and where we live. It’s important to do whatever it takes to protect Kasi businesses.

The relaunch of the Restaurant & Champagne Bar sees the resurrection of 35 employment opportunities, with the majority of employees being from Khayelitsha.

– Source:



“The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah has won big yet again at the 53rd NAACP Images Awards.
The Daily Show took home two awards for Outstanding Variety Show and Outstanding Short Form Series, while Trevor Noah was awarded Outstanding Host in a reality/reality competition, game show or variety series or special.

This is Noah's fifth NAACP Image award.

The awards announced winners in several non-televised categories via streaming presentations recently, with the official ceremony taking place on Saturday night, 26 February 2022.

On Wednesday, honours were presented in several TV and film categories.

The Daily Show took home two awards for Outstanding Variety Show and Outstanding Short Form Series, while its host, South African comedian Trevor Noah, was awarded Outstanding Host in a reality/reality competition, game show or variety series or special.

Noah congratulated his team on Twitter, writing, "Thank you NAACP Image Awards for such an incredible honour! Congrats to The Daily Show team on 3 wins!"

This is Noah's fifth NAACP Image award. He previously won in the categories: Outstanding Host, Talk or News/Information (2021, Writing in a Comedy Series (2019), Literary Work: Biography/Auto Biography (2017) and Literary Work: Debut Author (2017).

– Source:



Another talented South African is wowing the world with her beautiful voice. This time it’s 39-year-old Natalie in France on ''The Voice 2022''.

The latest season began on Saturday, 12 February 2022, on TF1, one of the country’s main channels. During the blind auditions, Natalie’s explosive performance caught the attention of all the judges. The South African expat performed a cover of Celeste’s song Stop This Flame.

South Africans may remember Natalie as Lu Chase, a South African Music Award nominee who was born and raised in Cape Town. In June 2020, Lu changed her stage name to Natalie Nova.

Among her many achievements, Lu has been play-listed on BBC Radio London, Kiss FM Chicago, BPM Sounds New York, 5fm South Africa; and performed as an opening act for Sister Sledge, Fatboy Slim and The Audio Bullies.

Natalie told Gala magazine she had been in the process of moving to Spanish island Ibiza when she was called for The Voice “so I came back to Paris”.

The French are loving her “charming accent” and contagious laughter and good old South African humour! As well as her talent.

Natalie says The Voice is her last chance to relaunch her career. She told Gala: “It’s not that I don’t want to sing, I want to sing! But it’s hard to invest. If I had 50 million euros, I would make albums, but it’s complicated sometimes. And since the pandemic, it’s even harder to sing.”

She’s been singing since 2000 when she left school. “And I never took a break. I sang all over the world, I travelled a lot,” Natalie revealed. As Lu Chase, she performed in Dubai, Russia, Bali, the Dominican Republic, Seychelles and many other locations.

As she embarks on her The Voice experience, Natalie says she’s highly motivated and wants “to give as much love to the public as they give me”. If she wins, she says that like her star sign Gemini, which has two sides, she’d like to record an album that has two parts – one acoustic and the other “French touch” (which is French house/electronic music).




The international guest artists who will join Cape Town City Ballet for Maina Gielgud's “Giselle” have been announced.


Giselle will be presented from 18 March until 9 April 2022 in the Artscape Opera House.

International guest artists Vadim Muntagirov, Tatiana Melnik and Brandon Lawrence join the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Brandon Phillips, alongside the dancers of Cape Town City Ballet at select performances.

Seating remains strictly limited due to social distancing and government regulations. All COVID-19 regulations will be in place including social distancing and wearing of masks throughout.

“It is fitting that we are able to mark the start of a new, post-pandemic era by bringing international guest artists to Cape Town,” says Debbie Turner, CEO of Cape Town City Ballet. “We are honoured to once again be presenting some of the world’s best ballet dancers on the local stage.”

“We are especially delighted to welcome back Vadim and Tatiana, as well as hosting Brandon Lawrence for the first time performing with Cape Town City Ballet. He will partner with our very own Leanè Theunissen, who audiences have recently enjoyed watching in Veronica Paeper’s Carmen and A Christmas Carol – The Story of Scrooge.”

Muntagirov and Melnik previously delighted Cape Town audiences in 2019 in Cape Town City Ballet’s production of Denise Schultze Godfrey’s Sleeping Beauty.

Vadim Muntagirov trained at Perm Ballet School before moving to The Royal Ballet Upper School. He joined the Company from English National Ballet as a principal in March 2014. His numerous roles with The Royal Ballet have included Basilio (Don Quixote), Albrecht (Giselle), Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), Aminta (Sylvia), Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty) and Prince (The Nutcracker). Muntagirov’s many awards include the 2013 and 2018 Benois de la danse and the 2021 Dance Europe Outstanding Dancer Award.

Tatiana Melnik is principal at Hungarian National Ballet. She has been a member of the Hungarian State Opera since 2015. She trained at the Academy of Choreography, Perm. Her roles have included Odette/Odile in Swan Lake; Princess Maria in The Nutcracker; Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty; Kitri in Don Quixote; Giselle in Giselle; Cinderella in Cinderella; Manon in Manon; Princess Stephanie in Mayerling; Snow Maiden in Snow Maiden and Nkiya in La Bayadère.

Brandon Lawrence trained with Penny Murray and Andie Nydza before attending the Royal Ballet School where he graduated to join Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2011 to then reach the rank of Principal Dancer in 2019. Lawrence has danced many of the classics, including Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried); The Nutcracker (Prince); Sleeping Beauty (Prince Florimund); Giselle (Count Albrecht); Romeo and Juliet (Romeo); La Fille Mal Gardée (Colas) and Beauty and the Beast (Beast).

– Source:



Thapelo Morena came on as a late substitution for Mamelodi Sundowns to score a superb winning goal against former coach Pitso Mosimane's Al Ahly in their CAF Champions League Group A encounter at the Cairo International Stadium on Saturday, 26 February 2022.

The high-tempo match turned out to be an historic 1-0 result for Sundowns as it was their first-ever win against Al Ahly on Egyptian soil.

This was the 11th meeting between the clubs in the competition, with their first match dating back to 2001.

The victory against the Red Devils sees Sundowns further their group with seven points after three games.

Al-Merrikh sits in second place after two matches with four points, while Mosimane's Egyptian giants remain in third place with a single point but also a game in hand.

Al-Hilal is anchored at the bottom with one point after their three matches.

Sundowns and Al Ahly will play the reverse fixture in South Africa on Friday, 11 March.

– Source:

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