Issue 522 | 12 May 2022
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President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the keynote address at the 2022 Investing in Africa Mining Indaba on Tuesday, 10 May 2022.
This annual event takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre under the theme “Evolution of African Mining”.

The President’s participation in the Indaba followed the successful South Africa Investment Conference in March, where mining companies were among those that made significant pledges to extend their operations in the country.

The indaba is the largest mining investment event in Africa that brings together several heads of state, ministers, senior government representatives, mining companies, mid and junior miners, investors, professional services as well as mining equipment and service providers.

President Ramaphosa was accompanied by the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe.

Other heads of state slated to participate in the indaba include President Mokgweetsi Masisi of the Republic of Botswana; President Hakainde Hichilema of the Republic of Zambia; and Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mining is a vital part of South Africa’s pursuit of faster, inclusive and sustainable growth to increase employment and achieve a more just and equal society. In this context, the indaba is an important platform for advancing and realising these objectives.



President Cyril Ramaphosa says the launch of a hydrogen-powered truck is a “giant step” in the right direction for South Africa’s budding green hydrogen economy.
The President was speaking at the launch of mining giant Anglo American’s clean energy-powered 290-tonne payload mine haul truck in Limpopo on Friday, 6 May 2022.

The truck – which was converted from diesel to hydrogen – is also powered in part by lithium-ion batteries. It is a world-first.

“What we are launching here today is not merely an impressive piece of machinery. It is the genesis of an entire ecosystem, powered by hydrogen.

“Developing the hydrogen economy is a strategic priority for our country. Not only will it be a valuable driver of economic growth and employment; it will also contribute to our decarbonisation efforts.

“The nuGen project provides demonstrable proof of the potential of this sector. It takes us from conceptualisation to reality,” he said.

The green hydrogen economy has been billed as a new frontier for clean energy as it emits low-carbon emissions with a global potential of about US$300 billion in exports.

South Africa holds approximately 80% of the world’s platinum group metals (PGMs) and 40% of the world’s platinum and palladium supplies – key components in the production of hydrogen.

President Ramaphosa said this could be catalytic for the country with plans already afoot to capitalise on this potential.

“The proposed hydrogen valley, stretching from Limpopo to Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal, will position South Africa as a global centre for green hydrogen production.

“It will lead to the creation of new industries, aid the decarbonisation of sectors like transportation, manufacturing and construction, and create new jobs for our people in all these provinces,” he said.

The President added that the green hydrogen economy was also part of the country’s critical Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan borne out of the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The National Hydrogen Society Roadmap that was approved by Cabinet late last year will give added impetus to the task of building a sustainable and resilient economy,” he said.

The President emphasised, however, that local businesses must not be left behind in projects such as the development of the hydrogen-powered truck.

“The green hydrogen value chain that Anglo is playing such an integral part in developing must lead to the creation of new businesses and supply chains.

“It must result in more opportunities and employment for the South African people, starting right here in Limpopo,” he said.

 – Source:



The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, will virtually table her department’s Budget Vote Speech in Parliament on Thursday, 12 May 2022, at 14h00.

Supported by Deputy Ministers Candith Mashego-Dlamini and Alvin Botes, the Budget Vote will outline progress made by DIRCO in its implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy as well as the plans for the 2022/23 financial year. 

The debate can be followed, using the following platforms:





The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) of the Republic of South Africa condemns in the strongest possible terms the killing of Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, allegedly by the Israeli Defence Force on Wednesday, 11 May 2022.


Akleh was shot in the head while on assignment in Jenin, covering Israeli raids on Jenin in the occupied West Bank. Another Al Jazeera journalist, Ali Samoudi, was also wounded after being shot in the back

The Director-General of DIRCO, Zane Dangor, has said: “The targeting of journalists in the occupied territories, and in conflict zones like Ukraine and Afghanistan, appears to be part of a pattern of silencing the free press, and is an outright contravention of international law. In a situation of occupation, protest action is one of the few ways in which Palestinians can make their voices heard.

“International human rights law obligates the occupying power to allow for the freedom of expression and protests. In other conflict zones, civilians and other non-combatants must be protected in keeping with the Principle of Distinction and other protective measures of the Geneva Conventions.”

“The ability of journalists to cover events as they take place is essential, and efforts to intimidate and assassinate members of the media cannot be allowed to continue with impunity.”



Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, says the just transition into a low-carbon future will present new investment opportunities for the African continent.
Minister Mantashe said this when he delivered a welcoming address at the Investing in African Mining Indaba at the Cape Town Convention Centre on Monday, 9 May 2022.

“The Just Transition to a low-carbon future will require ‘green metals’, which Africa has in abundance of untapped resources such as lithium, copper, cobalt, nickel and zinc.

“There is no doubt that the transition will drive demand for these minerals,” he said.

Minister Mantashe said the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia demonstrated this fact as they are both among the largest producers of copper and cobalt in the world.

The DRC accounts for about 70% of global cobalt output and half of the world reserves.  

“In addition, global targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions entail transitioning away from pollution-emitting combustion engines to greener alternatives that utilise electric or hydrogen fuel cell technologies.

“The catalytic convertors that vehicle manufacturers use to reduce or neutralise harmful pollutants from exhaust emissions require PGMs [Platinum Group Metals].”

Minister Mantashe said South Africa accounted for the largest percentage of the world’s PGM reserves, with Zimbabwe ranked third.

He said this would ensure that both countries played a crucial role in the world's emerging energy transition.

“Minerals of the future that Africa has in abundance hold great potential for the continent.

“These minerals can be used in the development of the hydrogen economy. An exciting and significant story for our future to tell at this Indaba is that, on Friday, 6 May 2022, we unveiled a prototype of the world’s largest hydrogen-powered mine haul truck – nuGen – at the Anglo American Mogalakwena PGM mine in Limpopo.

“This is one of the first projects of South Africa’s Hydrogen Valley – an industrial cluster that brings various hydrogen applications to form an integrated hydrogen ecosystem.

“The launch of the hydrogen-powered mine haul truck is indeed a source of pride for the mining industry on the African continent,” he said.

Exploration to protect Africa from rising energy prices

Minister Mantashe said this year's mining indaba took place against a backdrop of high energy prices, which posed a significant inflationary risk to the poor and emerging markets.

“Without any doubt, increased energy prices continue to be of great concern for our governments and investors alike.

“The African continent needs to build resilience against energy supply shocks through the exploration and development of our indigenous energy sources,” he said. 

Africa is open for business

Minister Mantashe said, meanwhile, that delegates attending the Mining Indaba, which attracts thousands of mining experts, investors, regulators and governments, must discuss how the continent could beneficiate its natural resources for the benefit of the current and future generations.

“Beneficiation will mean we are fully taking ownership of the value chain of our minerals across the spheres of upstream, midstream and downstream mining economic activities, instead of exporting these to other countries. It is therefore critical that we address the issue of electricity pricing.

“We must ensure that electricity is affordable to the end user for beneficiation to happen in our continent.”

– Source:



The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, has called for a worldwide, Africa-based digital platform to store the work of the creative sector on the continent
“There is a dire need to have a worldwide, Africa-based digital platform that houses all online creative arts, copyright and patents, and sporting platforms for control and sustainability of the collective intellectual property of the African Union (AU) member states’ intangible heritage,” the Minister said on Monday, 9 May 2022.

He was addressing the launch of Africa Month under the theme, “Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent for a Better Africa and a Better World".

The Minister said South Africa understood that strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security on the continent, in order to create a better Africa and a better world, was inextricably dependent on land.

He emphasised the importance to develop modern agriculture for increased proactivity and production by radically transforming African agriculture to enable the continent to feed itself and be a major player as a net food exporter.

“Land remains a highly contentious matter in the backdrop of land dispossession on the entire continent. As a country, we do share the same understanding and commitment that building resilience is about food and nutrition security, which are in themselves, important elements of individual resilience, but they can also enhance the resilience of whole economies by improving the health and productivity of individuals.

“We do, however, sorely acknowledge the drawback of the gains Africa had recorded prior to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Mthethwa said.

He said the creative, arts and sports sectors were among those that experienced the most adverse economic impact of the pandemic.

“The relief fund for the sector was set up to assist all athletes and creatives based on a set of criteria defined for each of the two sectors,” the Minister said.

Government responded by providing a R173.5-million relief fund that benefitted 12 170 individuals and 217 organisations within sports, arts and culture, in direct response to the unprecedented crisis that befell the livelihood of South Africans in these sectors due to COVID-19.

– Source:




On 21 April 2022, Daan du Toit, Deputy Director-General (DDG): International Cooperation and Resources (ICR) at the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), was bestowed with the Belgian award of Officer of the Order of the Crown and the French award of Chevalier dans l’Ordre national du mérite by Didier Vanderhasselt, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium, and Aurélien Lechevallier, Ambassador of France to South Africa.


The two ambassadors said that they honoured a great advocate of science diplomacy, driven by the will to strengthen international cooperation to address global issues, such as climate change and public health.

“Today, we are here to celebrate a man who has greatly contributed to South African diplomacy and invited his country to the scientific world stage.”

“Over the years, your achievements speak of excellence, dedication and solidarity. We wish to express our highest gratitude and sincerest appreciation for what you have done and wish you the best in your endeavours. Dear Daan, we need more people like you, passionate about your work and by people, involved in the community and dedicated to international scientific excellence.”

Du Toit started his career in the South African Government with the then Department of Foreign Affairs where he trained as a diplomat. Since 2002, he has been attached to the DSI, where he has notably served as the department's representative in Europe, based in Brussels. In 2014, he was appointed as DDG: ICR.

Over the years, Du Toit had the privilege to contribute to multiple initiatives in support of a diverse and rich international partnership portfolio for South African science, technology and innovation. He, for example, played a central role in the establishment and management of the European-South African Science and Technology Advancement Programme.

Du Toit has represented South Africa in diverse multilateral fora such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Global Science Forum, the Group on Earth Observations and the BRICS partnership, as well as in various structures related to African regional and continental cooperation of the African Union and the Southern African Development Community.

In addition to being a member of the DSI’s Executive, Du Toit currently chairs the Strategy and Business Development Committee of the Square Kilometre Array global radio telescope project.



The United Kingdom’s “The Telegraph” has been on a quest to answer a massive question: which city is the greatest city on Earth? Using its own special “science”, the publication has released an answer, and Cape Town sits third on the list.

The Telegraph started the experiment by selecting its own 50 contenders around the world. It then considered an annual reader survey and input from a panel of travel writers.

Cities were assessed based on the following aspects:

  • population density in urban areas
  • disabled accessibility
  • homicide rates per the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  • annual hours of sunshine
  • biggest park size
  • age of oldest building
  • LGBTQ+ safety
  • museums and galleries
  • highest observation point – including natural vantage points
  • five-star hotels
  • Michelin-starred restaurants
  • distance between city centre and closest airport
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Clean air per Carbon Disclosure Project environmental performance index.

Bonus points were given to cities with a beach, a bike or scooter-sharing scheme, a metro system with more than just buses and railways, a canal system, harbour or river and a symphony orchestra.

Here are the final 10 rankings:

  • Barcelona
  • Sydney
  • Cape Town
  • Lisbon
  • Venice
  • Los Angeles
  • Dubai
  • London
  • Vancouver
  • Florence.

– Source:



Visitors to South Africa’s legendary Kruger National Park (KNP) will be pleased to hear that SA National Parks (SANParks) has announced the start of a R370-million upgrading and refurbishment infrastructure programme in the Kruger over the next three years.
Several Kruger tourists, particularly locals who are regular visitors, have complained on Kruger forums about the poor condition of some facilities.

By the end of 2022, after contracts are finalised this month, visitors should see a marked improvement.

SANParks says the tourism facilities prioritised for launching in 2022 include:

  • rebuilding of the burnt Letaba Shop and fencing
  • rebuilding of the Lower Sabie Petrol Station also destroyed by fire
  • construction of the Shingwedzi Main Building Roof, which had been removed due to termites
  • Phalaborwa Wildlife Activity Hub (Phase I)
  • Shangoni (Phase I), which includes a picnic spot, camping site and Shangoni Reception facility
  • Punda Maria tent upgrades
  • upgrading of five entrance gates at Pafuri, Punda Maria, Orpen, Phabeni and Numbi
  • renovation/upgrade of more than 110 tourism accommodation units at camps across the park
  • upgrading of Sweni Trails camp
  • repair and upgrading of the viewing deck at Skukuza camp impacted by termites
  • repair and upgrading of the restaurant viewing deck and handrails at Olifants camp impacted by termites.

Funds have also been allocated to the upgrading of selected staff accommodation, the resurfacing of identified tar roads and the re-graveling of selected gravel roads.

Further projects will be launched in 2023.

Funds for the upgrade include payments from insurers and contributions from the National Department of Tourism but are predominantly from an Infrastructure Development Programme allocation to SANParks from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment.

The Managing Executive of KNP, Gareth Coleman, says that "the first phase of the programme will provide important impetus to upgrading infrastructure and improving visitor experience. The decline in tourist revenues under COVID-19 has impacted our revenue but the need to maintain and upgrade our infrastructure is ever present. The infrastructure programme will also help provide much-needed employment in the area.

“We are currently finalising contracts and works packages with successful contractors for civil and building works and this should be completed by the end of May 2022. Contractors will move onsite during May and June 2022 and we will start seeing the results of these investments in the second half of 2022."

“We will do our utmost to minimise the impact on visitor experience and request patience and understanding from our clients during the refurbishment period for any inconvenience caused. We would also like to urge visitors to take note of additional signage placed in the affected locations and note the advice from our staff members.”

 – Source:



The Field Guides Association of Southern Africa selects the top Safari Guide in the country each year, and this year, the winner is Solomon Ndlovu.
A significant part of South Africa’s global appeal is our beautiful landscape and wildlife. Many international travellers come to our country to see the Big 5 in action, to go birdwatching, hike our glorious mountains and sail our stunning seas. In each of these spaces, guides exist.

Tour, nature, culture, safari and adventure guides are just some of the jobs created thanks to our thriving tourism industry. To unite all these groups, the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) was formally established in 1990.

FGASA aims to set a standard for nature guiding practice. FGASA represents individual tourist guides, nature, culture and adventure guides, trackers and organisations involved in offering professional guiding services to members of the public.

Each year, they host a Safari Guide of the Year Award. Due to the pandemic in 2020, they missed a year but thankfully were able to host the 2021 and 2022 awards.

This year, the winner of the top spot is Solomon Ndlovu, who has been a guide at the award-winning Singita Private Nature Reserve for 12 years. The team shared their delight at his win on the Singita Facebook page, saying: “We are proud to announce that Solomon Ndlovu has been selected as one of the Field Guides Association of South Africa’s top Safari Guides of the Year for 2022. The FGASA sets the standard and level of professionalism in the guiding industry.

“The privilege of having this wonderful man on our team has been ours for 12 years now and we look forward to many more.

“Congratulations Solomon!”

–  Source:



The Two Oceans Aquarium and the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation have announced that “Saving Seals”, a short film by local wildlife photographer and conservation ambassador Steve Benjamin of Animal Ocean, won the Grand Prix Award at the International Tourism Film Festival Africa in the Documentary and Television Category.

The film also won Gold in the Environment and Ecology Thematic Category. Saving Seals documents the extraordinary measures undertaken by staff of the Two Oceans Aquarium and the Aquarium Foundation to rescue and disentangle seals. These efforts are part of the Marine Wildlife Management Programme at the V&A Waterfront.

“We are extremely honoured to have been recognised for the film we created. The making of the film was a long and arduous process to complete due to logistical and technical complications, but also to ensure that the story of this passionate work being done with the seals is told correctly. We are really excited that this film, and the recognition it is getting, will continue to highlight the great work that the Two Oceans Aquarium and the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation are doing for Cape fur seals in the Waterfront and harbour areas,” said Benjamin.

Saving Seals was released in November 2021 and focusses on the breakthrough work being done by the Two Oceans Aquarium, the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation, the V&A Waterfront’s Marine Wildlife Management Programme, the South African Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) and international collaborators to develop a protocol to safely tranquilise distressed seals, in order for them to be disentangled from life-threatening nooses.

Saving Seals explores the history of the seal disentanglement programme at the V&A Waterfront and the desperate need for this new technology, which enables rescuers to help those seals that cannot be helped through other means.

Seal rescues and disentanglements in the V&A Waterfront have a long history of progress and innovation over the years. What started as rescues by the then Department of Fisheries, assisted by Vincent Calder of the Two Oceans Aquarium, grew into Calder and Claire Taylor, also of the Two Oceans Aquarium, developing a method to approach unsuspecting seals from below the jetties. This method has proven highly successful with specialised equipment and techniques being developed. Calder and Taylor’s efforts were recognised and have been incorporated into the Marine Wildlife Management Programme at the V&A Waterfront.

However, some of these more “traditional” methods are unfortunately not always effective and alternatives, like the darting of seals, have had to be explored to deal with seals which are badly disentangled or in areas where they are inaccessible. The Two Oceans Aquarium and its Foundation has, over the last couple of years, worked closely with veterinarian Dr Brett Gardner of Zoos Victoria and the DEFF to trial a protocol for the use of sedative darts and stimulants on high-risk Cape fur seals. The paper, “Disentanglement of Cape fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) with reversible medetomidine-midazolam-butorphanol”, published in the Journal of the South African Veterinary Association, is a reflection of this collaboration, and the film Saving Seals highlights this particular method as an alternative to the “traditional” ways of disentangling seals.

– Source:



The time has finally come for sculptor Pitika Ntuli’s exhibition “Azibuyele Emasisweni” (''Return to the Source'') to debut as a physical exhibition.
Azibuyele Emasisweni (Return to the Source) is an exhibition by sculptor Pitika Ntuli. His use of bones and poetry has captivated the international fine art community. He first exhibited his works on a virtual platform due to the pandemic, but now he can finally do a physical exhibition.

Ntuli was awarded the Global Fine Art people’s choice “You-2″ Award from the seventh annual Global Fine Art Awards (GFAA). Ntuli’s exhibition took place online due to the pandemic but, combined with his powerful poetry and writings, made an impactful impression on even the most novice art critics.

Ntuli’s works are underlined with political and spiritual references, and each of his sculptures is accompanied by a poem. He was born in 1940 in Springs and grew up in Witbank in Mpumalanga.

“I do not copy nor work like nature. I work with nature. Bones are vital, as in imbued with life, and it is this life that they possess that possesses me when I work. We are partners. Bones, like wood, have definite forms to work with. I do not oppose their internal and external directions, I externalise their inherent shapes to capture the beauty and the truth embedded in them, in other words, I empower the bones to attain their own ideal.” – Pitika Ntuli

The sculptures were displayed at the Melrose Gallery and totalled an inspiring 45 sculptures. Now, they will be presented physically at Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein from 4 October to 4 December 2022.

– Source:




In anticipation of Africa Day, Netflix is launching a new collection of stories, “From Cape to Cairo”.


This year, the African Union has deemed 2022 “the year of nutrition” and in that spirit, Netflix is bringing stories from North, East, West, Central and southern Africa to feast on.

This collection includes rows like Our Music, Our Culture, Our History, Award-Winners & Critics’ Favourites; African Women Behind the Camera; Love Across the Continent; Stories From The African Diaspora; and more recommendations to help you find your next favourite African series, film or special.

The From Cape to Cairo collection will feature Netflix’s latest African series, Blood Sisters (Nigeria) and Savage Beauty (South Africa) – both launching in May – and many other stories that showcase the continent’s creativity and talent.

The collection also includes:

  • Silverton Siege
  • Man of God
  • Senzo: Murder of a Soccer Star
  • Young Famous & African
  • Finding Ola, Paranormal and Secrets of The Saqqara Tomb
  • Queen Sono, Blood & Water
  • JIVA!
  • How To Ruin Christmas
  • Kings of Joburg
  • King of Boys: Return of The King.

Major international films and series featuring the talent of African descent from the African Diaspora include Meet the Adebanjos, African Doctor, Shine Your Eyes, Dọlápọ̀ is Fine, Yasuke and more.

Check out the From Cape to Cairo collection available from 1 May on all devices.

– Source:



“Penguin Town”, a Netflix series filmed in South Africa, has been nominated for six Daytime Emmys, including Outstanding Cinematography and Outstanding Travel, Adventure and Nature Series.
Netflix released the eight-part series about South Africa’s penguins in June of 2021. Penguin Town follows the lives of several African penguins that make their homes in the gardens of Simon’s Town homes.

“You’ve never met penguins like these before. Forget ice and snow, this rowdy colony of African penguins are hitting the sun-drenched beaches and breaking all the rules. Filled with boisterous shenanigans and loads of adorable penguins, this eight-part series from Red Rock Films about the real lives of African penguins brings flipper-flapping fun and drama. Join the ride … this town is gonna get painted black and white!” – Netflix

The show was produced by Red Rock Films, which is owned by South African filmmaker Cayley Christos. Christos has over 10 years of experience in filming wildlife content.

Other nominations include Outstanding Music Direction and Composition, Outstanding Single-Camera Editing and Outstanding Sound Mixing and Sound Editing.

The Daytime Emmy Awards are bestowed by the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This year is the 49th event.

The ceremony is set to take place on 24 June 2022.

– Source:



The South African quad wheelchair tennis team has flown the flag high in Portugal by earning a silver medal in the finals against the Netherlands and being selected as the “Team of the Year” for being the first African team to reach the World Cup Final.
Donald Ramphadi, Lucas Sithole and Danny Mohlamonyane are the men credited for this fantastic win. The team are part of a group representing South Africa at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup.

The team played their way to the final, making history as they secured their win in the semi-final. They made history by becoming the first African team to make it to the finals of the World Team Cup.

“South Africa’s quad wheelchair tennis team made BNP Paribas World Team Cup history on the fourth day of this year’s competition after becoming the first African team to reach one of the four championship finals at the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event in Portugal.” – Tennis South Africa

Donald Ramphadi shared his excitement about the finals and how playing with Lucas Sithole made it easier.

“I’m very excited for us to be going to the finals for the first time,” said 28-year-old Ramphadi. “I’m very happy with how my teammate Lucas played, because he really made the job easier for me, but then also for my own performance. And to be the first team from Africa to make it to the World Team Cup finals and for me to be a part of that, I’m really happy.”

The silver win and history-making moment has South Africans in awe and flooding social media with praise.

– Source:



Zimbabwean-born, South African national rugby team legend Tendai Mtawarira, also known as “The Beast”, has been appointed by UNICEF as a Regional Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa.
The announcement follows Mtawarira’s travels with UNICEF to Mukuru, an informal settlement in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi, where he spoke with young girls and boys about challenges with learning in the COVID-19 era accessing clean drinking water and the significant hurdles families continue to face.

As a UNICEF Regional Ambassador, Mtawarira will use his voice to bring much-needed attention to UNICEF’s humanitarian and development priorities in the Eastern and southern Africa region. Mtawarira is particularly passionate about improving educational opportunities for the most vulnerable children. Even before the pandemic, a vast majority of African children were experiencing a widespread learning crisis, with COVID-19 only serving to exacerbate the situation.

“I am so honoured to take on this new role,” said UNICEF Regional Ambassador Tendai Mtawarira. “I believe education is the great equaliser, and every child on this continent should be able to access quality learning and fulfil their potential.”

Many parents living in informal settlements in Kenya are struggling with a lack of water and proper sanitation and providing for their children’s basic needs. This has been exacerbated by the loss of work due to COVID-19. UNICEF is helping to provide families with access to clean drinking water via community water points and in schools, as well as training community health workers in hygiene, water safety and menstrual hygiene management.

Girls are also being supported with reusable sanitary pads so that they can attend school consistently and not miss days due to menstrual hygiene issues.

“It has been very humbling to meet with children in Mukuru and hear how going to school is not only important for their education but also for providing a vital place of safety when there are so many dangers and distractions outside the school gates. Their drive to keep studying despite such difficult living conditions is really inspirational.”

Mtawarira also met with UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa to discuss his new, important position in advocating for some of the region’s most vulnerable children.

“We’re deeply honoured to have ‘The Beast’ as a UNICEF Regional Ambassador and such a powerful voice for children,” said Mohamed M. Fall following a meeting in Kenya. “His strong commitment to education and wider children’s rights make him the ideal candidate to take on the UNICEF Ambassador role, and we look forward to working closely with him in the coming years.”

– Source:



Testing his limits by doing more than 71 000 skips in eight hours, a Pretoria man has set a new Guinness World Record for rope skipping.
SD Heijns, who started skipping at 12 years old as part of his kickboxing training and now skips for up to eight hours a week, made the successful Guinness world record attempt at Sun International’s Maslow Time Square Hotel in Pretoria.

After completing the attempt, the 21-year-old was ecstatic and was congratulated with cheers from supporters and high-fives and hugs from family and sponsors.

“There are no words for how I felt; I wanted to show that South Africa has talent and bring this record here.

“The longest I had skipped before this attempt was six hours, which was the hardest part of today’s record attempt. My best hour was my last hour when I did more skips than the first hour,” Heijns said.

He averaged around 9 000 skips per hour. A pressure plate system mat counted the number of skips – 71 185 in total. There was also a system to ensure that the skipping rope made a complete revolution. Two skipping ropes were used during the attempt.

Heijns said he started out too fast but soon found a better pace that saw him smash the previous record of 70 031 by 1 154 skips.

“Skipping formed an integral part of my personal training regime to stay fit during the COVID-19 lockdown, and this was when I started toying with the idea of breaking the Guinness World Record,” Heijns said.

The record attempt was registered with the Guinness World record body and monitored by the Sports Science Lab for verification purposes.

Sella Rosa Rega held the previous Guinness World record from Boiceville, New York, in the United States. There are also 12 and 24-hour records, which Heijns intends to break in the future – after a rest.

“The eight-hour record was a good training run,” he said.

Guinness must still declare it an official record.

– Source:

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