Issue 517 | 8 April 2022
    It's Your Voice   UBUNTU Magazine   UBUNTU Radio  
 
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Freedom Month - South Africa 2022
 
 
Consular Services - Travel Smart with DIRCO
 
 

PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA ADDRESSES DIPLOMATIC HEADS OF MISSION CONFERENCE

 
 

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday, 7 April 2022, addressed the opening session of the 2022 Heads of Mission Conference, which is a platform for strategic discussion among South Africa’s internationally deployed senior diplomats.

The conference is taking place at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation head office in Pretoria from 7 to 10 April 2022.

The conference theme is “Positioning South Africa’s Diplomacy Globally to Advance Domestic Priorities in a Dynamic Global Environment”.

South Africa’s envoys will be briefed on the strategic mandate and objectives of the current Administration, with a special focus on the country’s economic recovery initiatives outlined during the 2022 State of the Nation Address.

Various ministers will also brief the heads of mission on their departmental programmes and will outline the expected support South Africa’s representatives around the world can provide to the realisation of government’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan to address the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

The discussions will also include an assessment of the global situation and the identification of noteworthy trends and dynamics in the context of South Africa’s foreign policy and DIRCO’s programme of international relations.

In his address, President Ramaphosa said that not only had the pandemic upended national economies, health systems and societal relations, it had also changed the diplomatic landscape.

“I want to thank you for your efforts over the past two years to ensure the work of South Africa’s missions around the world continues.

“In addition to representing our interests in your host countries, you had to provide our citizens with consular services in an emergency situation that was uncertain and rapidly changing.

“Our thanks in particular go to the missions that assisted with repatriations in the early days of the pandemic.

“Over the past two years and at differing points, we have been swept up by both undesirable and favourable currents.

“The global response to the pandemic has seen incidents of narrow self-interest, protectionism, parochialism and, at times, anti-Africanism.

“At the same time, we have also borne witness to remarkable acts of solidarity and unity of purpose.

“We witnessed countries coming together to support each other to access medical supplies, equipment and different forms of economic relief, especially in developing economy countries.

“Our missions abroad played a large part in forging these relationships and will need to sustain these relationships in the years ahead.

The President said that the continental response to COVID-19 had given the cause of African unity a new lease on life.

“Africa has found a new voice that is bold and unapologetic.

“As we look to recovery and reconstruction, I call on you as Heads of Mission to use all the diplomatic tools at your disposal to advance the political, economic and social interests of South Africa and the rest of the continent.

“The coming into operation of the African Continental Free Trade Area is the singular most important step towards continental economic integration.

“Our missions must be at the forefront of building networks and being part of activities to strengthen the AfCFTA.

Ukraine

President Ramaphosa said that the conflict in Ukraine had an extraordinary impact on global affairs and these developments would continue to define international relations into the future.

“The conflict has caused extensive destruction and immense human suffering.

“As a country, we are committed to the articles of the United Nations Charter, including the principle that all members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means.

“We support the principle that members should refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of other states.

“The conflict has exposed the inability of the UN Security Council to fulfil its mandate of maintaining international peace and security. The current formation of the UN Security Council is outdated and unrepresentative. It disadvantages countries with developing economies.

“The entire peace and security architecture of the United Nations needs to be overhauled. Decision-making needs to be democratised so that the council can be true to its mandate and move beyond the paralysis brought about by a few member states.

“Powerful countries must no longer be allowed to disregard international law.

“We need to curb the unilateral actions of these countries to shape global politics through aggression and other coercive measures like the imposition of unilateral sanctions.

“In keeping with our strong commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflict, we have urged the parties to pursue a negotiated political solution to the war in Ukraine.

“We have encouraged our international partners to consider confidence-building measures that will bring the parties closer together rather than adopt measures that will further alienate the parties and result in the escalation of armed conflict.

“We are deeply concerned about the broader implications of the conflict in Ukraine for the global economic recovery.

“Our fundamental responsibility as a global community is to ensure that the human suffering in Ukraine is brought to an end, and that a sustainable and just peace is achieved.

“As a global community, we have an equal responsibility to bring a decisive end to human suffering in Yemen, Palestine, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Mozambique and the Eastern DRC.

“We will continue our efforts to bring about peace in a number of these conflict zones.

“South Africa will continue to leverage its membership in multilateral fora to advance the cause of peace.

“We will defend our non-aligned position and maintain an independent foreign policy.

“We will pursue our national interest as we pursue the common interests of our global humanity.''

Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan

“In the State of the Nation Address in February, I provided an update to the country on our progress in implementing the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan and our plans for the year ahead.

“Our missions need to provide progress updates on structural reform, our infrastructure build programme, immigration reform and new investment in all their engagements.

“We need to be briefing potential investors on the progress we are making.

“We should, for example, refer to the fourth South Africa Investment Conference, held two weeks ago, which resulted in some R332 billion in new investment pledges.

“We should report that we have now reached 95 per cent of the R1.2 trillion target we set in 2018.

“Some Heads of Mission have taken the initiative in recent years to bring business delegations to our Investment Conferences and to our tourism and mining indabas, film festivals and aerospace shows.

“This is the type of initiative we want to see.

“Our Heads of Mission should look at the needs of our various provinces and understand the type of industries that we need to help lift people out of poverty.

“In this respect, they can rely on the analyses undertaken as part of the District Development Model plans to decentralise and diversify our economy.

“Twinning provinces and cities is one way to forge economic relations with countries abroad.

“Budget constraints have impacted on the work of our diplomats, but this does not mean we have to be any less effective.

“Diplomats need to be more innovative and find new ways of practising their craft. We need to adapt to digital diplomacy and host targeted seminars to sell South Africa.

“We need to scale up our public diplomacy efforts, including with South Africans living abroad.

“As we strive for an equitable recovery, we will continue to count on you to be our emissaries for economic growth.

“Continue to serve your country with pride and to make our foreign missions centres of excellence.

“Continue with your most urgent task of building a better South Africa and realising a better Africa and a better world.”

In her address, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, said that If we were to achieve our national priorities of addressing the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality in South Africa, it was the job of our Heads of Mission to champion the message that South Africa is open for business.

“Economic diplomacy must drive the work of our missions, and it cannot be mere rhetoric, as the outcomes of our efforts on the ground must result in increased foreign investment and trade. We also need to emphasise in our public statements the role that South African businesses are playing abroad, particularly on the African continent.

“We are all cognisant of shrinking budgets and the myriad of challenges that we face as a country, but our Heads of Mission need to play a leadership role in finding innovative ways to sell our country to the world. And it starts with portraying a positive image of South Africa both in public and in private. We need to believe that South Africa has what it takes to compete on the world stage.

“Your role as our top diplomats is to work towards rebuilding investor confidence, and marketing South Africa as one of the most sophisticated and promising emerging markets, offering a unique combination of highly developed first world economic infrastructure, with a vibrant market.”

Read more …  (Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the South African Heads of Mission Conference, 7 April 2022)

Read more … (Address by HE Dr Naledi Pandor, MP, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation to the South African Heads of Mission Conference, 7 April 2022)

 
 

SOUTH AFRICA EXITS NATIONAL STATE OF DISASTER

 
Cabinet has decided to end the National State of Disaster with effect from midnight on Monday, 4 April 2022, with the exception of a few transitional regulations remaining in place.
 
“Since the requirements for a National State of Disaster to be declared in terms of the Disaster Management Act are no longer met, Cabinet has decided to terminate the National State of Disaster with effect from midnight tonight,” President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in an address to the nation.

The end of the National State of Disaster came 750 days since the country went into its initial lockdown on 15 March 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This means that that all regulations and directions made in terms of the Disaster Management Act following the declaration of the National State of Disaster in response to COVID-19 are repealed with effect from midnight on 4 April. However, this is with the exception of a few transitional measures.
 

The State of Disaster was a response to a global health crisis that posed a grave threat to the lives and the well-being of South Africans. It empowered government to take measures that prevented many more people from becoming severely ill and saved countless lives.

The National State of Disaster provided the legal basis for the introduction of the special R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant, which continues to bring much needed relief to those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also enabled the establishment of the COVID Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme, which provided wage support to millions of workers.

The proclamation of the State of Disaster further enabled the provision of relief to small businesses, the extension of the validity of vehicle and drivers’ licences and the management of the pandemic at educational institutions, among other things.

Transitional provisions

Going forward, the pandemic will be managed in terms of the National Health Act while the draft Health Regulations have been published for public comment, closing on 16 April. Once the comments have been considered, the new regulations will be finalised and promulgated.

The Disaster Management Act provides that certain elements of the regulations may remain in place for a limited period for "post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation".

These provisions will remain in place for 30 days after the termination of the National State of Disaster. This is to ensure essential public health precautions and other necessary services are not interrupted while the new regulations in terms of the National Health Act come into effect.

The President said following will apply:

Individuals will still be required to wear a facemask in an indoor public space, however, a mask is not required when outdoors.

Existing restrictions on gatherings will continue as a transitional measure. This means that both indoor and outdoor venues can take up to 50% of their capacity without any maximum limit, provided that proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test not older than 72 hours is required for entrance to the venue. Where there is no provision for proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test, then the current upper limit of 1 000 people indoors and 2 000 people outdoors will remain.

The existing provisions with respect to international travel remain in place. Travellers entering South Africa will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours. If a traveller does not submit a vaccine certificate or proof of a negative COVID-19 test, they will be required to do an antigen test on arrival and if they test positive, they will need to isolate for 10 days.

Meanwhile, the directions that provide for the payment of the special R350 SRD grant will remain in place. This will enable the Department of Social Development to finalise the regulations that will allow the payment of the grant to continue.

Directions that provide for the extension of the validity of a learner’s licence, driving licence card, licence disc, professional driving permit and registration of a motor vehicle will remain in place.

In addition to the Coronavirus alert levels no longer applicable, the regulations on the isolation of persons, on schools and access to old-age homes, on public transport, on initiation practices, on cargo transportation, and on criminalisation of non-adherence to these rules fall away.

“The few transitional measures that remain are limited in scope, and allow almost all social and economic activity to resume as normal. They are essential to reduce the risk of a further COVID-19 wave and further disaster,” said the President.

He emphasised that the transitional measures, which would lapse after 30 days, would allow the management of the pandemic to be dealt with by the health regulations or other provisions.

COVID-19 Vaccine Injury No-Fault Compensation Scheme

The President announced that the COVID-19 Vaccine Injury No-Fault Compensation Scheme would remain in place.

The scheme, which is administered by the Department of Health, was brought into force in April last year to provide quick and easy access to compensation to any person who suffers a serious injury because of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
 
The scheme will continue after the National State of Disaster ends and will be terminated once it has achieved its purpose, said President Ramaphosa.

He said the end of the National State of Disaster was an important milestone in the fight against the pandemic.

“It is a sign of the progress we have made together and a reminder of what our nation has endured. It is a moment to remember those who have lost their lives and the many people who are still struggling with the effects of the disease.

“The end of the National State of Disaster is a firm statement of our determination to live our lives and rebuild our country even as this virus remains in our midst.”

He maintained that vaccination was the best defence against COVID-19.

– Source: SAnews.gov.za

 
 

STRONG STATE INSTITUTIONS FORGE TRUST, SAYS PRES RAMAPHOSA

 
 

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the turnaround of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) – from an inefficient revenue collector to hitting its highest margins in years – is proof that efficient and well-run state institutions can bolster trust between government and citizens.

The President was addressing the nation through his weekly newsletter.

Last week, SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter, announced that the revenue collector had recorded a 25% increase in collections – reaching at least R1.5 trillion in revenue collection between April 2021 and March this year.

“As we forge ahead with efforts to strengthen the capacity of the State and rebuild institutions that were systematically weakened by state capture, we have much to learn from what SARS has achieved in a relatively short space of time.

“When state institutions are well-run and efficient, when they demonstrate credibility and fairness in their operations, this contributes to increasing levels of trust in government. Business and investor confidence also improves, encouraging greater investment and economic growth,” President Ramaphosa said on Monday, 4 April 2022.

The President reflected on a challenging period that the revenue collector had faced, including allegations of state capture, “political meddling and mismanagement”, which had rendered SARS inefficient and ineffective.

“This had the direct consequence of not only undermining taxpayer morality, but also loss of business confidence in the organisation.

“In 2018, I appointed a commission of inquiry into tax administration and governance at SARS chaired by retired Justice Robert Nugent. The commission delivered its final report by the end of the same year. Four years later, SARS has implemented nearly all of the 16 recommendations and 27 sub-recommendations to restore stability to the organisation,” he said.

Since the implementation of those recommendations, the revenue service has claimed several victories.

“The Illicit Economy Unit that was reconstituted in 2018 has notched up a number of successes in combatting illicit economy trades, including through a focus on customs non-compliance. Tax collection from JSE-listed companies, multinationals and high net worth individuals is now more effectively managed through its Large Business Unit, which was relaunched in 2020.

“SARS is taking the wind out of the sails of tax dodgers, beneficiaries of the proceeds of crime and those involved in corrupt activities. It is well established that ''the taxman'' is one of the most efficient tools to combat corruption.

“In cases where an individual’s lifestyle does not match what they declare, SARS has been conducting lifestyle audits. In the last year, SARS has completed lifestyle audits that resulted in the collection of a further R474 million. As a result of SARS’ turnaround, there has been improved compliance in personal income tax, corporate income tax and Pay as You Earn (PAYE),” he said.

The President highlighted that efficient revenue collection was critically important to South Africa as it “finances service delivery and infrastructure” and the execution of government’s plans.

“Tax revenue propels our nation’s development. Through the R17.8 trillion that SARS has collected since its establishment in 1997, we have been able to build more social infrastructure like clinics, schools and hospitals, upgrade and build new roads, and support society’s most vulnerable through social grants and other measures.”

President Ramaphosa said officials at the revenue service ought to be “congratulated” for the performance they delivered over the past financial year.

“Thanks must [also] go to the loyal South African taxpayer. Without their cooperation, the latest revenues would not have been possible. That SARS has expanded the tax base with 1.8 million new registrations over the past year is another sterling achievement.

“We can only rebuild South Africa if we continue to meet this shared obligation, and if we intensify the work currently underway to ensure that these taxes are used wisely and efficiently,” President Ramaphosa said.

– Source: SAnews.gov.za

 
 

POLITICAL AND CREATIVE ACTIVIST GLADYS THOMAS PASSES AWAY

 
 
President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent his condolences to the family of legendary South African author, poet and playwright Gladys Thomas who has passed away.
 
Thomas passed away at the age of 87.

The Order of Ikhamanga in Silver recipient used her renowned writing ability and outspoken nature as a political tool during the height of apartheid to highlight the injustices experienced by black people during that era.

Her co-authored anthology, Cry Rage, which was published in 1971, was the first book of poetry to be banned by the apartheid government.

President Ramaphosa said this would be her enduring legacy.

“Rooted in Salt River, Simon’s Town and Ocean View, Gladys Thomas’ narration of the struggle of a nation for freedom challenged the construct of ‘forgotten communities’. She championed the tribulations and triumphs of people who did not have the means to tell their stories in the distinctive and memorable way in which she took up their plight.

“While she rests in peace, her volumes of creativity will bring us comfort and cause us to appreciate her contribution to our nation,” he said in a statement on Tuesday, 5 April 2022.


The President said her work as a political and creative activist would remain embedded in the minds of generations that read it.

“South Africa and the south Peninsula of Cape Town where [she] developed and articulated her social consciousness mourn the passing of a truly outstanding South African.

“[She] was deeply affected by the indignity her family was made to endure under the Group Areas Act and other instruments of the apartheid regime. Her experiences gave life to anthologies of poetry, scripts and children’s literature that live on in the consciousness of generations of readers in our country and around the world,” said the President.

– Source: SAnews.gov.za

 
 

PRESIDENT WISHES MUSLIM COMMUNITIES WELL FOR THE HOLY MONTH OF RAMADAN

 
President Cyril Ramaphosa offered his best wishes to South Africa’s Muslim communities for the Holy Month of Ramadan.
 
President Ramaphosa said: “The Holy Month of Ramadan, the observance of the Fast and the social support and charity demonstrated by Muslims during this period is an integral part of our nation’s cultural and religious diversity.

“In 2022, we welcome the coincidence of Ramadan with Freedom Month, a period during which we remember and honour the many individuals, organisations, movements and associations who fought for us to be free today.
 

''During this Month of Ramadan, we will remember Shaykh Abdul Hamiet Gabier, Life President of the Muslim Judicial Council and former Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who passed away very recently.

“Shaykh Gabier’s activism in his immediate community and congregation, his role as a founder of Call of Islam and his contribution to our struggle through the United Democratic Front was invaluable.

“He was a successor to a rich succession of Muslims and Muslim leaders who considered resistance to apartheid as a fundamental obligation of faith.

“It is my hope that the Holy Month will be a period of peace, of closeness among families and neighbours, a period of sharing, and a period in which all South Africans will adopt and practise the values that underpin the Holy Month of Ramadan.”

The President urges communities to bear in mind COVID-19 safety measures as they worship and socialise during this month.

 
 

SA STRIKES DEAL TO BUY GAS FROM MOZAMBIQUE

 
 

Deputy President David Mabuza says government has reached an agreement with Maputo that will see South Africa getting a supply of gas from Mozambique.

The Deputy President said this when he responded to oral questions at a sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday, 31 March 2022.

“Discussions between our Minister here of Mineral Resources [and Energy] and Mozambique are quite advanced in terms of gas that we should transport from Mozambique to the country.

“I can safely say that we have reached an agreement,” he said.

Responding to questions from Members of Parliament (MPs), the Deputy President said alternative energy generation measures were being explored and implemented to augment electricity supply and improve the stability of the grid.

Deputy President Mabuza also said the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy had amended the Electricity Regulations of New Generation Capacity. The department has also put together processes to be followed to ensure requests by municipalities for own generation are speedily attended to.

He told MPs that currently, 292 small-scale generators had registered with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) and had generation capacity of 187MW.

“The Independent Power Producers Office is processing offers by independent power producers for approval by Eskom and National Treasury.”

He said the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy had issued determinations on the required new generation capacity, in concurrence with NERSA.

“The determinations made, resulted in the procurement of more than 7 309 MW from renewable and non-renewable energy.

“Most of these power plants are already in operation, with less than 400MW still under construction,” he said.

– Source: SAnews.gov.za

 
 

SAMIM DE-ESCALATION IN CABO DELGADO TO BEGIN MID-APRIL

 
 
 

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) is expected to begin its de-escalation to Scenario 5 of its deployment to combat acts of terrorism and violent extremism in the northern region of Cabo Delgado province, in Mozambique.

The SAMIM mandate was extended for a further three months from 16 January to 15 April 2022 with additional capability requirements and additional integral personnel.

The Extraordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ Troika Plus the Republic of Mozambique took place on Sunday, 3 April 2022, in Pretoria to continue discussions of the SADC member states regarding support to the Republic of Mozambique, in efforts to combat terrorism.

Delivering her opening remarks at the meeting, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, said the Extraordinary SADC Summit in January 2022 made key decisions regarding the SAMIM deployment in Mozambique.

“The summit extended the mandate of SAMIM with additional capability requirements and additional integral personnel for a further three months and thereafter de-escalation to Scenario 5 up to 15 July 2022.

“In that regard, member states made pledges of the required combat equipment and personnel to support SAMIM operations. An additional budget in support of the SAMIM operations was also approved,” Minister Pandor said.

The Minister commended the commitment and support of member states. She said that it signalled “the premium we all attach to the fight against terrorism, which continues to threaten the gains that the region is making towards integration and socio-economic development”.

Minister Pandor said the Committee was supposed to make recommendations to the Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit Plus, planned for Sunday.

“However, due to the unavailability of the presidents of Botswana and Mozambique, the summit segment had to be deferred to a later date,” she said.

Additional funding approved by EU

Other key decisions of the summit were the approval of the Framework for Support to the Government of Mozambique in addressing terrorism, which encompasses the thematic areas of Politics and Diplomacy; Economic, Social Development and Humanitarian Assistance; Military, Information and Intelligence; as well as Public Security, Law and Order.

“These are indeed key steps that would lead to the stabilisation of the affected areas in Cabo Delgado province. The magnitude of our work requires collaboration and support from our mother body, the African Union (AU), as well as our international cooperating partners,” the Minister said.

The European Union has also approved funding for SAMIM to benefit from the AU Early Responses Mechanism under the auspices of the African Peace Facility.

“In this regard, we are pleased that the European Union has approved funding for SAMIM …also, the confirmation of the availability of non-lethal equipment at the Continental Logistics Base is welcomed,” Minister Pandor said.

The Minister added that the Secretariat needed to make follow-ups on this matter as the equipment is urgently required in the theatre of operation.

The SAMIM report has noted the encouraging progress made in its intervention, which has brought stability to most areas.

“We commend the cooperation among the forces on the ground. Despite this progress, there continues to be challenges, including the need for the fulfilment of pledged capabilities and additional resources as this mandate will enter Scenario 5 phase,” the Minister said.

The SAMIM Report also provides an appraisal of the Framework for Support to the Government of Mozambique in Addressing Terrorism.

“There is indeed notable progress in all thematic areas, albeit with some challenges and capacity gaps. I trust that our deliberations today will assist in finding solutions and closing the gaps,” she said.

Minister Pandor said that they were pleased with the inauguration of the Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre on 28 February 2022 in the United Republic of Tanzania, as an important step towards strengthening the regional security architecture, working in synergy with the Regional Early Warning Centre.

In her conclusion, the Minister recognised and appreciated the presence of the SAMIM leadership whose “input is critical to this work”.

– Source: SAnews.gov.za

 
 

SANPARKS WANTS PRIVATE PARTNERS FOR MORE THAN 100 PROJECTS 

 
SANParks, which manages South Africa's 20 national parks, on Thursday, 31 March 2022, gave more details of the more than 100 projects for which it is seeking public-private partnerships.
 
The opportunities outlined are set to be rolled out over the next 10 years in 14 national parks. There are 123 in total and include accommodation, retail, restaurants and multi-use facilities and activities. Partners are also sought for building and infrastructure projects.
 

New deals are on offer relating to various lodges and camping facilities in the Kruger National Park, while concessions are on offer for tourism activities like a spa to be created in northern region of the park, guided quad biking trails, adventure motorcycle tours and mountain biking activities.

There are also opportunities in Marakele National Park in Limpopo – to build a halaal-compliant lodge and other accommodation  – Golden Gate Highlands National Park in the Free State, Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape and in the Augrabies Fallsl National Park in the Northern Cape.

In the Table Mountain National Park, investment opportunities are available at the Hoerikwagga accommodation, the Cape Point visitor accommodation and at the Da Gama Peak.

Interested investors or applicants for concessions are invited to contact SANParks and submit viable and affordable proposals, SANParks said. A catalogue with a full list of available opportunities will be made available on the SANParks website.

Government introduced public-private partnerships as a mechanism to improve infrastructure, service delivery and the efficient use of under-utilised state assets.

During a SANParks Investment Summit hosted on Thursday, the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Creecy, said SANParks held its first Tourism Investment Summit in 2017 as part of its drive to attract a diversity of investors to its Public-Private Partnership Programme (PPP). Minister Creecy described national parks as "important catalysts for economic development", especially in rural areas, where many of the parks are located.

SANParks employs over 4 000 employees and SANParks concessionaires employ another 2 100 people.

Since 2000, more than 60 such PPPs have been established for accommodation, restaurants, open safari vehicles and other activities, according to SANParks spokesperson, Rey Thakhuli.

These projects have so far contributed around R1.4 billion to SANParks.

At the same time, the PPPs increased the value of infrastructure assets by R955 million, Fin24 previously reported.

According to SANParks Board Chair, Pam Yako, the management of protected areas through a system of national parks is also a key tool for biodiversity conservation.

– Source: www.news24.com

 
 

SA WINE COMPANY HITS THE RIGHT TASTE BUDS OF CHINESE CONSUMERS

 
 
When countries all over the world went into COVID-19 lockdowns, and alcohol sales were restricted in South Africa, AM Vineyards' co-owners Andrew Robinson and Matthew Karan set their sights on the Chinese wine market.

The company produces fine wines, predominantly for export. 

Robinson and Karan saw opportunities opening up in that market due to the Chinese Government increasing its tariff on Australian wines to more than 200%, alleging dumping. The increased tariffs led to a 90% year-on-year drop in Australian wine imports to China. But the high import tariff doesn't apply to South African wine.

China has a population of 50 million wine drinkers who consumed approximately 1.24 billion litres of wine in 2020 – despite it being considered a low consumption year due to the pandemic. China imports about 55% of wine consumed in that country. In 2020, South Africa was the world's eighth-biggest wine-producing country, accounting for 4% of wine drunk globally. China is South Africa's fourth top destination for wine exports and accounts for 4% of total local wine exports.

"Interest in South African wines is on the rise in China. Despite 2020 being a relatively low-consumption year – down 15% on 2019, South African exports are back on a growth trajectory in value and volume. Other East Asia markets such as Hong Kong are also growing," says Robinson.

Both Robinson and Karan had been entrepreneurs in China for many years and opted to put their experience to the test. They decided not simply to export their existing wine products to China, but developed their Karan range, which includes two new red wines - The Collection and The Selection – specifically targeted at the Chinese market.

"Given the cultural symbolism associated with the colour red in China – happiness, success and good fortune – it's no surprise that 80% of the wine consumed in China is red," says Karan.

Red meats, particularly, fine beef, is popular, so the Chinese export wines were created with this pairing in mind. The Karan range is focussed largely on high-end restaurants and hotels, especially in Beijing and Shanghai. 

With harvest currently underway, AM Vineyards will be producing more blends in the Karan range to further capitalise on the growing Chinese market.

"Our business model is different from that of a typical wine estate. We partnered with growers and farms in areas like Franschhoek, Elgin, the Hemel-and-Aarde Valley and the Swartland, where our winemakers manage specific blocks of vineyards. We harvest and bottle our own wine and use our own cellars. It is a versatile business model and gets us the best grapes, best product and scale," says Robinson.

"Wine is a massively growing sector in China, while in South Africa, we have a wine production history of more than 300 years. South African wine is not well known in China, while they are more familiar with French, Australian and Chilean wines. That means there is a huge amount of work to be done by the South African wine industry in China to showcase their great products."

"Our philosophy is never to put a square block into a round hole. Rather make sure you understand your customers and what they want. We did a lot of consumer testing in China when we developed our Karan range to be just right for the Chinese palate," says Robinson.

"In China, we compete against the largest brands in the world. So, it is important to get the product right for that environment. It is also about getting sommeliers and restaurant staff to taste our wine and learn more about it. We invest in educating Chinese consumers that South African wines can compete with the best in the world."

The Chinese market likes the history of South African wines – its long tradition. At the same time, they want wine that is different and new.

"Our story is that South African wine straddles both the old world and new world approach to wine making. We honour the history and tradition of the South African wine industry, but also use fresh, modern and clever techniques to blend our wines for the Chinese palate. And of course, we make sure we sell a prime product to our Chinese customers," says Robinson.

– Source: www.news24.com

 
 

CT TOURISM LAUNCHES FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND GAME TO BOOST THE INDUSTRY

 
It is a virtual game called Find Your Freedom.
 
Cape Town Tourism has launched what it calls its most important initiative to date to boost tourism in the city.

The interactive interface uses game-style graphics, which allow global travellers to choose their Cape Town adventure, based on the guide they identify with the Fearless Foodie, the Nature Warrior or the Urban Adventurer.

Once users choose a guide and an adventure, it is an interactive journey from start to finish.
 

Cape Town Tourism CEO, Enver Duminy, said it was a first-of-its-kind concept: “It’s fast-paced, captivating and unlike anything any destination marketing organisation worldwide is doing. Following the pandemic, people worldwide are itching to explore, do more and reclaim their sense of purpose.”

Mayco member for Economic Growth, James Vos, said the goal was to fuel faster recovery in the visitor economy.

He added that the new campaign hit the mark not just in terms of being something original and fun, but most importantly, being enticing enough to result in actual bookings.

– Source: ewn.co.za

 
 

MEDIA24 SHORTLISTED FOR NEW YORK FESTIVALS' RADIO AWARDS 2022

 
 
The 2022 New York Festivals' (NYF) Radio Awards shortlist across 14 category groups has been announced with South Africa's Media24 shortlisted for its ''My Only Story: Back to School'' in the category Podcasts: Narrative/Documentary Podcast.
 
With audio entries created by storytellers from 24 countries around the globe, the United Kingdom leads with 75 entries shortlisted followed by the United States with 57, Ireland with 56 and Canada with 35 entries.

Shortlisted global broadcasters include the BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBS News Radio, NBC News, RTÉ Ireland, Deutsche Welle (DW), Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and Mediacorp.

All entries in the 2022 competition were judged online by NYF’s Radio Awards Grand Jury of 200+ producers, directors, writers and other creative media professionals from around the globe.

The entries were judged on the following set of criteria: production values, creativity, content presentation, direction, writing, achievement of purpose and audience suitability.

Shortlisted entries include audiobooks, dramas, documentaries, breaking news coverage, entertainment, and music specials from radio stations, networks, prominent production companies and independent producers.

Award-winning entries will be announced during the New York Festivals 2022 Storytellers Gala virtual event on 26 April. All winners will be showcased on the Radio Awards winners gallery.

Prominent companies making the shortlist include HarperCollins Publishers, TBI Media, Radio New Zealand, ABC Radio National, Bloomberg, Intelligence Squared U.S., Lockdown Productions, Fresh Air Productions, SiriusXM, Penguin Random House UK, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Swedish Radio, Unusual Productions, Colorado Public Radio, DCP Entertainment, FM Club, JAZZ.FM91, GoLoud, Magnum Opus Broadcasting, Media24, Radio Free Asia, Radio-Canada, Religion of Sports, Sky News Radio, Sveriges Radio, USG Audio, Virgin Radio UK, and Wondery.

– Source: www.bizcommunity.com

 
 

SOUTH AFRICAN PUBLISHER SCOOPS PRESTIGIOUS INTERNATIONAL AWARD

 
 

New Africa Books was awarded the prestigious “Best Children’s Book Publisher of the Year” at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

New Africa Books, an independent book publisher specialising in local and multilingual children’s books, announced recently that it had been named the winner of the Best Children’s Book Publisher in 2022 for Africa in the BOP (Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year) Awards, held in Bologna, Italy.

The award highlights publishers at the forefront of innovation for their editorial choices during the previous year, a prize that has become known, according to online international publishing magazine Publishing Perspectives, as “the big one”.

“It’s wonderful to be recognised,” said Dusanka Stojakovic, Publisher. “New Africa was started 50 years ago by Marie and David Philips, who were trailblazers in local publishing. New Africa has continued to swim against the tide, publishing mother-tongue books with a focus on making beautiful, relevant and homegrown children’s books since the early 1980s. We are now in the first year of the UN’s Decade of Indigenous Languages, and the BOP Award really highlights our work in this area.”

The BOP Awards celebrate publishers who have distinguished themselves in the regions of Africa, Central and South America, North America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. The prize is designed to foster a mutual exchange of knowledge and ideas among different countries, areas and cultural identities across the world.

A special feature of the award is that nominated publishers are chosen by their peers: publishers, publishers’ associations and institutions that promote reading.

The announcement was made with the following description: “For Africa, the winner is New Africa Books, from South Africa, consisting of two publishing brands. New Africa Books publishes a catalogue of titles covering all the South African languages and is particularly focussed on the cultural development of children and young people. New Africa Books is a small publishing house that operates with a philosophy at odds with the model that pervades much of the South African industry: its aim is to find gaps in the book market and fill them with beautiful and meaningful works.”

“We focus on creating books that matter – for all South Africans,” said Stojakovic. “We’re making new grooves in the record; we’re singing a different song. Interest in indigenous-language books is increasing, and we hope that mainstream booksellers will recognise the demand for these new voices.”

– Sources: New Africa Books and www.goodthingsguy.com

 
 

SA MATRIC WINS YALE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING ASSOCIATION AWARD

 
Luke Andrews, a South African Grade 12 pupil, has been recognised for developing a novel high-precision navigation and tracking system.
 
The youngster received the prestigious Yale Science and Engineering Association Award for the Most Outstanding Exhibit in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and won first place at an international science fair held in Barcelona, Spain, in March 2022.

Luke's innovation has exciting applications for the robotics and autonomous vehicle industries. His solution is achieved by comparing sensor data and high-speed digital images of the surface over which a vehicle is moving.
 

Luke's journey on this latest project is testimony to the power of perseverance and self-belief. He started developing his first proof-of-concept prototype in January 2020 using data from optical computer mice.

Luke has come a long way from his very first Science Fair project in 2016, which involved a design for alternative closure solutions for shoes to assist the young and elderly, which he entitled "The end of laces".
 
Since the age of 12, he has been a regular winner in various international science fairs and robotics competitions, as he searches for innovative and different solutions to problems.

After his first science fair success, Luke turned his attention to helping children to independently improve their spelling and mathematics.

He learned to program so that he could develop what he called the Spelling and Mathematics Amazing Results Tool ("SMART"), which used gamification to motivate and improve students' spelling and mathematics. This project ultimately won Luke first place at the OKSEF International Science Fair in Turkey in 2018. 

He has an impressive track record as a serial innovator and has received numerous national and international awards in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

In the field of Robotics, Luke's passion and flair have found the most fulfilment and recognition.

He won the Robofest World Championships Junior Innovation Award in 2017, the Junior Game Play in 2018 and the Senior Exhibition in 2020. In 2021, he received a silver award at the USA Genius Olympiad International Project Fair and then first prize at the Hong Kong Global Youth Science and Technology Bowl.

Luke also holds the distinction of winning the South African Youth Engineering and Science Symposium for the past two consecutive years.

Luke has big plans and dreams for the future and hopes to make a significant positive impact in the world through his innovations.

– Source: www.news24.com

 
 

SOUTH AFRICAN FIREFIGHTER JOINS FLORIDA’S ELITE FIRE RESCUE DIVE TEAM

 
 
Samantha Botha has been selected to join the Orange County Elite Fire Rescue Dive Team … one of the few women applicants.
 
Originally from Ficksburg in the Free State, Samantha Botha is making waves in Florida, United States of America, after being selected as one of Orange County Fire Rescue’s newest dive team members.

At just 27 years old, Botha is now one of only seven female divers certified in dive rescue for Orange County Fire Rescue.

“I’m excited really and proud,” Botha said, slightly out of breath. “I don’t even have words.”

The department certified four divers recently and will certify 13 more to add to the 175-person dive team spread out across various Orange County fire stations.

“It takes a special kind of person. These people are usually very highly motivated. They want to go that extra mile, and those are the kind of people we’re looking for,” said Lt Brandon Allen.

Botha said she got her work ethic from her father, who is an underwater commercial diver.

“So, when he became a diver, I got interested in it,” Botha said. “And I got in this field, and I found out they had a programme. I was like, ‘Why not?’ And I get to help people with it. Both my parents were police officers in South Africa, so they’ve instilled my love of helping people.”

But the South African understands the responsibilities that come with rescue diving.

“Here, it’s not just looking and seeing what’s pretty; you have to find something, something very important,” Botha said about the difference between recreational diving and diving to rescue. “You’re trying to save lives quickly.”

– Source: www.goodthingsguy.com

 
 

GRADE 10 STUDENT RUNS INTERNATIONAL YOUTH LAW CONFERENCE

 
The goal of the conference was to give high school students from all over the world an opportunity to interact with and learn from law students and top professionals in the legal field.
 
Ryan Ferreira – a Grade 10 student – was appointed as one of the executive producers for the 2022 International Youth Law Conference, a free online event run by students for students.
 

Leveraging his passion for law and tech know-how, the Bishops High School student played a vital role in running the conference. Hosted via Zoom, the conference ran from 2 to 3 April and was open to anybody interested in learning more about taking up a career in law.

“The goal of the conference is to give high school students from all over the world an opportunity to interact with and learn from law students and top professionals in the legal field. We’ve organised mock trials, live speeches and debates for students to watch and participate in. For anyone who is interested in studying law after high school, it’s a great way to get an idea of what it’s like to work in the industry,” says Ryan.

Conference speakers included Ahmed Farooq, an incoming law clerk at the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, David Lyman, the Chairman and Chief Values Officer at Tilleke and Gibbins and author of Lyman’s Laws for Lawyers, and James Simpson, a University of Melbourne law graduate, among others.

The Cape Town-based Crimson student teamed up with founders, and fellow Crimson students from Bangkok, Thailand, Jenna Jokhani and Sohee Yim. The conference was sponsored by the Crimson Youth Fund, a philanthropic arm of global mentorship company Crimson Education, created to provide students or recent graduates, aged 13 to 21-year-olds, with essential resources to bring their event or project to life.

“Attending the conference is a great way for students to explore their passion and interest in a career in law. We’re excited to be backing this project, which has the potential to impact the future of each and every person who attends,” says Rebecca Pretorius, Country Manager at Crimson Education, who will be speaking at the conference on behalf of Crimson..

After school, Ryan plans on applying to top universities in the United Kingdom, unsurprisingly, to study law.

“The conference put me on the path to creating some of my own projects at school, as well as landing me the role of Chief Editor for International Law on the Law Insider website. Working on the conference with students from all over the world really pushed me out of my comfort zone and showed me how much can be accomplished when we work together. I hope it can do the same for the future lawyers who attend,” says Ryan.

– Source: www.goodthingsguy.com

 
 

AFTER YEARS CAGED IN ARGENTINA, FOUR TIGERS FIND FREEDOM IN THE FREE STATE

 
 
Four Bengal tigers, which lived in a train carriage in Argentina for 15 years, had a trans-Atlantic journey to find a somewhat unlikely home, and a semblance of freedom, in the Free State.
 
Global animal welfare organisation Four Paws rescued the tigers and, with the help of the Argentinian and South African authorities, relocated them to the Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary in Bethlehem in mid-March.

The tigers, Sandro, Mafalda, Messi and Gustavo, were in transit for about 70 hours.

"These tigers have never felt grass or earth under their paws. It's the first time they can see the sky above them, not just metal bars and a roof. Now, they have hundreds of square metres full of new feelings, tastes and smells.

"It is overwhelming for them to be in a completely new environment, but animals are quick at adapting to better living conditions," said Four Paws veterinarian Dr Amir Khalil who led the rescue mission and transfer of the tigers to South Africa, according to a statement.

"They were already curious, exploring their temporary adaption enclosures and making careful first steps on the so far unfamiliar ground. I am proud that we have brought all four tigers safely to South Africa."

Two of the tigers were circus animals. A travelling circus abandoned the now 18-year-old male and 15-year-old female in 2007 in the San Luis province, Argentina. They asked a local farmer to take care of the tigers temporarily.

But the circus never returned.

It is illegal to keep wild animals privately in Argentina, so the farmer, who continued to care for the tigers to his best knowledge, did not immediately inform the authorities.

The tigers were never sterilised, and two cubs were born over the years.

In 2021, the authorities became aware of the tigers and their inferior living conditions, and the search for a solution began.

"The train carriage was filthy with excrement and leftover meat and bones [left] for a long time but fortunately, this is not the case anymore. Tigers need to move, run and play and bathe.

"Being locked in a 75m² train carriage and only pacing back and forth for 15 years is not a tiger-worthy life. All those years in such a small space have affected their mental and physical well-being for sure," said Khalil, before the tigers were rescued.

A team from Four Paws travelled to San Luis at the invitation of the Argentinian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development to examine the tigers.

Khalil and his team worked for months to find a new home for the tigers and prepare them for the transfer. They acquired permits, coordinated logistics with the local authorities in Argentina and South Africa and ensured the transport crates were best equipped for the long journey by plane.

The team managed to get the tigers to enter their transport crates voluntarily on the day of the rescue, minimising the potential risks of using anaesthesia.

"These tigers spent over 15 years in the same 75m² space; surrounded by the same landscape and without any stimulation of their instincts or natural behaviour.

"Our team needed to be around them so they would stay calm in our presence and during the transfer. It was and still is a stressful situation for the animals, but we made them as comfortable as possible.

"For us, the well-being of the animals always comes first. We put soft floors, air holes and water containers in the transport crates and will check on them during the flight layover. The team will keep a particularly close eye on the oldest tiger because of his advanced age," said Khalil.

While preparing for the tigers' rescue, the Four Paws team gave names to the tigers with the help of their online community. The aim was to give all four names relevant to Argentina. The majority of voters decided one of the younger male tigers would be called Messi, like famous Argentinian football player Lionel Messi.

– Source: www.news24.com

 
 

17 TINY, ADORABLE CHAMELEONS HATCHED AND RELEASED BACK INTO WILD

 
 
 

32 chameleon eggs were removed during an emergency caesarean; while mom didn’t survive, 17 of her eggs have successfully hatched.

Friends of Free Wildlife helped a heavily pregnant chameleon back in 2021 by performing a caesarean; while she didn’t survive, 17 of her babies hatched and have now been released back into the wild.

Friends of Free Wildlife is run by a group of passionate and qualified wildlife rehabilitators who have rebuilt a fully permitted Community/Volunteer-based Wildlife Centre. Its mission is to Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release and Educate.

The organisation was founded in December 2015 and has worked tirelessly to save as many small wild creatures as possible.

In 2021, the organisation took in a pregnant chameleon. The emergency caesarean was performed by the Bryanston Avian, Exotic and Small Animal Clinic. Dr Jean Davidson performed the surgery and hoped it would save the mother but sadly, she passed away a few days later. Dr Davidson was able to harvest 32 eggs from the heavily pregnant mother.

Vet nurse, Cassey Ure from Craighall Vet Hospital, offered to incubate the eggs until they were hatched and the young would be ready for release. Sr. Ure spent months watching over the eggs. Finally, in late December, the first eggs started hatching.

By 4 March, 17 eggs had successfully hatched, and the babies were all released in a safe area together. The Crocodile River Reserve now has 17 bright new chameleons. Hopefully, they will go on to live long, happy lives.

– Source: www.goodthingsguy.com

 
 

BLACK COFFEE WINS FIRST GRAMMY

 
President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent his well wishes to house music DJ Nkosinathi Maphumulo, also known as Black Coffee, for winning an award at the Grammy Awards held at Las Vegas in the United States of America recently.
 
Maphumulo won the award in a tight list of nominees, including legendary house music group Ten City.
 

“Congratulations to Black Coffee for being awarded the Best Dance/Electronic Music Award for his album Subconsciously at last night’s Grammys. Thank you for flying the flag and inspiring a new generation of talent to take over the world,” President Ramaphosa said.

The DJ joins a select group of South Africans who have scooped a Grammy, including legendary group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the Soweto Gospel Choir with nominations only for other legendary artists Johnny Clegg and Savuka, Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela.

The house music muso is now one of the most decorated DJs on the African continent and the first to have won both a Grammy and a BET Award.

His work has also earned him several gongs at the South African Music Awards, Metro FM Awards, DJ Awards and Dance Music Awards.

Black Coffee was not the only South African on show at the Grammys with South African comedian Trevor Noah hosting the awards show.

This was Noah’s second stint as the host of the prestigious music awards after doing the same last year.

Accepting the award alongside him on stage was his eldest son, Esona.

"I want to thank God for the gift of music and being able to share it with the world and heal souls and help people go through whatever they're going through in life," he said during his acceptance speech.

He also thanked his team, everyone who worked on the album, and his fans.

"I want to thank my fans all over the world and people who follow what I do, thank you so much for believing in me. I want to thank my family and my children."

Turning to his son, he said, "this is my first one [win] tonight. I have five more [children] at home. I am coming back with them."

In a post win interview, Black Coffee gave a special shout out to "the African kids who are watching who come from where I come from who think they don't have a chance.

"I wanted to just say to them it's possible; the award is not just for me; it's just to show them," he said.”

– Sources: SAnews.gov.za and www.news24.com

 
 

SA’S CAMERON LOMBARD SET TO BECOME UK STRICTLY COME DANCING’S YOUNGEST PARTNERED DANCER

 
 
“Strictly Come Dancing” in the United Kingdom is set to sign its youngest ever partnered professional dancer – none other than 21-year-old South African dancer Cameron Lombard!
 
Bosses on the hit BBC dance show are lining up Cameron to replace Aljaz Skorjanec, who announced that he was leaving the programme recently.

Cameron joined the Strictly Come Dancing dance troupe last year but wasn’t paired with a celebrity. However, he has impressed bosses behind the scenes on the series and the subsequent live tour.

A Strictly source told The Sun newspaper’s Bizarre TV column: “Cameron is a big character, as well as a hugely talented dancer. He was disappointed not to get a partner for the last series but 2022 is set to be his year.

“He’s already a favourite with hardcore ‘Strictly’ fans who have seen him on tour, and bosses are confident mainstream audiences will follow suit.”

Cameron was a finalist on South Africa’s Got Talent a decade ago, when he was just 12, and had set up his own dance school for youngsters.

He is also good friends with his fellow South African professional dancer Johannes Radebe – who made his debut on the programme in 2019.

The BBC is yet to confirm which pros will be getting celebrity partners when the 20th series of Strictly begins in the autumn.

Since the age of five, Cameron has been dancing … turning his back on playing soccer and cricket with his pals to devote his life to ballroom dancing. He was so determined to succeed, he never missed a single lesson, and his parents Chris and Charlene were always there to watch him as he strutted his stuff with his teacher in Cape Town. He became National Champion in Ballroom and Latin American dancing at Juvenile, Junior, Youth then Adult level.

Cameron’s big break came when a producer from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing visited South Africa to help on their version of the show and talent-spotted Cameron as a dancer.

In South Africa, Strictly Come Dancing UK is on DStv.

–  Source: www.sapeople.com

 
 

CRAIG JACOBS RECIPIENT OF PRESTIGIOUS FASHION INNOVATION AWARD

 
Alarmed that clothing is increasingly becoming one of the world’s biggest sources of landfills, Craig Jacobs advocates that brands urgently need to pivot towards an integrated biodiversity strategy to bring real change.
 
Sustainability visionary Craig Jacobs, the founder of arguably Africa’s first eco-conscious fashion brand, has been announced as the first recipient of the Fashion Innovation of the Year honour at the inaugural Fashion Industry Awards of South Africa (FIASA).
 

Jacobs, who created Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs as a conduit to celebrate the rich diversity of African culture and its ecological treasures, was one of 18 recipients in various categories announced during an event recently.

The FIASA, which was launched last year, aims to celebrate and recognise excellence both of fashion industry pioneers and present-day creatives.

“It is humbling to receive this acknowledgement at a time when we are more sensitive to the environmental cost of fashion. When I created Fundudzi back in 2004, that wasn’t the case – many in the fashion industry were bemused about my vision to bring positive change to an industry more concerned about hem-lengths than carbon emissions,” said the fashion entrepreneur.

Jacobs, who is recognised as a leading voice on sustainability globally and delivered the closing address at the 2015 World Retail Congress (Africa) on the subject of African innovation and sustainability, believes that the organic way of life is inherent to African culture.

His label has imaginatively incorporated African and sustainable materials, along with an intrinsic consciousness of the environmental impact of the design processes, since inception – utilising materials, including African produced cashmere, bamboo, hemp, soy and textiles made from maize.

However, as a panellist at the Future Sustainability Summit in Abu Dhabi in 2020, he announced that simply incorporating sustainable materials into the production cycle was no longer enough.

Alarmed that clothing is increasingly becoming one of the world’s biggest sources of landfills, he advocates that brands urgently need to pivot towards an integrated biodiversity strategy to bring real change.

Fundudzi’s approach, ironically, takes its cue from the fast-fashion quick response model, but in a more thoughtful manner – the brand only produces limited units of each style in its bricks and mortar partners, producing and replenishing units when required. Meanwhile, online, Fundudzi is disrupting the traditional digital model of fast as possible fulfilment through its “the value of waiting” innovation.

“We cherish every fibre used to create our garments, and that is why we only pre-produce small minimum quantities of each style we offer. Should we run out, our makers will carefully make your garment to order, which is why the delivery window on this garment is between five days and six weeks.”

In addition, with the global leather industry contributing to the decimation of Amazon rainforests in the quest for grazing grounds for cattle, Fundudzi is prototyping a new plant-based leather alternative accessories line, which will be launched soon.

– Sources: Fashion Industry Awards South Africa and www.goodthingsguy.com

 
 

LUXE AWARDS: SOUTH AFRICA’S TOP CHEF, RESTAURANT AND POP UP EXPERIENCE ANNOUNCED

 
 
Over the past nine months, the Luxe Restaurant Award judges have been seeking out exemplary dining experiences in South Africa.
 
The Luxe Restaurant Awards have crowned South Africa’s top chefs, restaurants and pop-up experiences for 2022.

Now in its fourth year, the prestigious awards honour the finest contributions to the South African restaurant industry.

Last year, the winners included Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, Marble and Soul Souvlaki – this year is a completely different mix.

The winners were chosen by a team of anonymous food critics as well as by a popular public digital vote. The panel of judges was convened by Chad Fourie, Chief Judge of the Luxe Restaurant Awards and Managing Director of The Hospitality Counsel.

“Over the past nine months, the Luxe Restaurant Award judges have been seeking out exemplary dining experiences in South Africa. Tonight, we have given these leading restaurants and chefs a platform to shine and celebrate their culinary genius. With all the unexpected changes we have endured over the past two years, people are now seeking out unique lifestyle experiences to build memories with their loved ones. And there is no greater experience than an award-winning restaurant.”– Chad Fourie

Overall, 25 winners were announced from a wide and inclusive set of categories that ranged from the Culinary Icon of the Year to the Street Food Experience of the Year.

The 2022 Luxe Restaurant Awards category winners are as follows:

  • Restaurant of the Year: La Colombe
  • Chef of the Year: Wandile Mabaso
  • New Restaurant of the Year: Pier
  • Style Award: Zioux
  • Culinary Icon Award: Siba Mtongana
  • Culinary Media Personality of the Year: Cooking with Zanele
  • Culinary Innovation Award: Candice Philip
  • Culinary Rising Star Award: Besele Moloi
  • Sustainability Award: The Test Kitchen Fledgelings
  • Service Excellence Award: Basalt
  • Pioneer Award: Luke Dale Roberts
  • Cookbook of the Year: Hosting with The Lazy Makoti
  • African Restaurant of the Year: Emazulwini
  • Bistro of the Year: Embarc
  • Burger Joint of the Year: BGR
  • Café of the Year: Le Parc by Tashas
  • Coffee Shop of the Year: Truth Café
  • Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: La Petite Colombe
  • Hotel Restaurant of the Year: Aurum
  • International Restaurant of the Year: Ethos
  • Lifestyle Restaurant of the Year: Tang
  • Pop Up Experience of the Year: Katlego Mlambo at The Marabi Club
  • Steakhouse of the Year: The Blockman
  • Street Food Experience of the Year: How Bao Now
  • Wine Service Award: Michelle Moller – La Colombe

– Sources: Luxe Restaurant Awards and www.goodthingsguy.com

 
 

PROTEAS TRIO NAMED IN WOMEN'S WORLD CUP TEAM OF THE TOURNAMENT

 
 

Laura Wolvaardt, all-rounder Marizanne Kapp and fast bowler Shabnim Ismail were selected in the tournament's Women's World Cup Most Valuable Team.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) revealed their line-up following Australia's triumph over England on Sunday, 3 April 2022, in Christchurch.

The Proteas bowed out of the World Cup following a semi-final defeat to England and only lost two matches in the entire tournament (against Australia and England).

Stars from only five countries were selected for the elite team, with three South Africans featuring in the list.

This ICC Valuable Team was pulled together by a selection panel featuring commentators, journalists and members of the ICC, including former England captain Nasser Hussain and South African commentator Natalie Germanos.

Proteas opener Wolvaardt had a stunning campaign for her country as she ended as the fourth-highest run-scorer of the tournament.

In her eight games, Wolvaardt ended on 433 runs at an average of 54.12, which propelled her to number one on the ICC ODI batters.

Wolvaardt scored a whopping five half-centuries in the tournament, tying the record for the most fifties in a single tournament alongside Deborah Hockley (1988) and Elysse Perry (2017).

Ismail ended as South Africa's best bowler of this year's World Cup, finishing as the second-highest wicket-taker with 14 wickets in her eight games.

Meanwhile, Kapp continued to prove her reputation as one of the best all-rounders in women's cricket with her inspiring all-round performance in New Zealand.

Starring with both bat and ball, Kapp went on to deliver match-winning performances for the Proteas in nail-biting affairs.

Kapp, who opened the bowling alongside Ismail, took 12 wickets and scored 203 runs at an average of 40.60.

Women's Cricket World Cup 2022 Most Valuable Team:

Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa), Alyssa Healy (wk - Australia), Meg Lanning (captain - Australia), Rachael Haynes (Australia), Nat Sciver (England), Beth Mooney (Australia), Hayley Matthews (West Indies), Marizanne Kapp (South Africa), Sophie Ecclestone (England), Shabnim Ismail (South Africa), Salma Khatun (Bangladesh).

12th player: Charlie Dean (England).

– Source: www.news24.com

 
 
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