Issue 63 | 21 June 2013
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The June 16 commemoration marks the uprisings in 1976, when the apartheid regime's decision that pupils be taught certain subjects in Afrikaans sparked riots led mainly by high school students. This year's commemoration came at a time where there is high unemployment coupled with a disturbing culture of drug abuse among many young people.

Drug and alcohol abuse are the enemies of South Africa's freedom and democracy. This is according to President Jacob Zuma, who addressed young people gathered in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, for the national Youth Day celebrations on 16 June 2013, observed under the theme: “Working together for youth development and a drug free South Africa”.

"Alcohol and drug abuse in particular are slowly eating into the social fibre of our communities," the President said, adding that crime and gangsterism, child and women abuse, teenage pregnancy and truancy, and mob justice and xenophobia were on the list of "cancers that are painfully eating our society".

"Thus, our special message to the youth of the Republic today is that you must become an integral part of the struggle against all these cancers." He urged young people to take up this fight with the same vigour that "we fought apartheid, and the zest that is displayed in our successful fight against HIV and AIDS today”.

The South African Government recognises that the drug problem is complex and requires decisive and collective national action. Government has been at the forefront of fighting the scourge of substance abuse through various national initiatives and programmes. Given the seriousness of the situation, it has convened an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Substance Abuse and placed the response to substance abuse as the core mandate of the Central Drug Authority.

Government and its partners are also implementing the Anti-Substance National Plan of Action, which is a collective effort towards a South Africa that is free of drug abuse. The plan focusses on enabling policy and legislation; supply reduction; demand reduction; harm reduction; and strengthening the role of civil society in this struggle.

Youth Month will furthermore focus on job creation and youth empowerment.



President Zuma has extended his congratulations and best wishes to President-Elect Hassan Rouhani and the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran and expressed the hope that relations between South Africa and Iran would be consolidated under his leadership.

President Jacob Zuma has congratulated President-Elect Rouhani, who was elected as the new President of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 14 June 2013. President-Elect Rouhani, who won more than 50% of the votes, will succeed Mr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as President of Iran in August 2013.
President Zuma also requested President-Elect Rouhani to give priority to resolving all outstanding issues with the International Atomic Energy Agency as far as his country’s nuclear programme was concerned. Doing so would not only allow Iran to reclaim its rightful place in the international community, but it would also result in the lifting of international sanctions, which has caused immense hardships to the Iranian people.

To further consolidate bilateral relations with Iran, the 11th Meeting of the South Africa-Iran Joint Commission is scheduled for October 2013. The commission is a mechanism to consolidate relations and exchange views on international and regional developments.


South Africa attaches great importance to its Nordic partners, and this visit provided a platform to further consolidate and strengthen the already cordial relations between South Africa and Finland.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, has concluded a successful working visit to the Republic of Finland, where she participated in the 13th Africa-Nordic Foreign Ministers' Meeting, held in the Finnish town of Hameenlinna on 15 and 16 June 2013.

This annual gathering is a frank and open dialogue between African and Nordic like-minded states focussing on mutual cooperation in developmental matters.

The African ministers encouraged the Nordics to take advantage of investment opportunities in Africa and to increase the levels of economic cooperation in and among other sectors, such as telecommunications, agriculture and infrastructure. The meeting noted Africa's positive efforts towards peace, stability and development, which are in line with the continent's common Vision 2063 – a vision of a united and prosperous Africa. In addition, the meeting noted the successes achieved through the Nordic model from which much can be learned by African states. On 14 June 2013 in the capital Helsinki, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane held bilateral talks with her Finnish counterpart, Erkki Tuomioja. The meeting focussed on South Africa-Finland bilateral political and trade relations. The two ministers also exchanged views on issues of common interest, including the reform of global governance institutions.



One of the most important outcomes of the seminar was agreement on the establishment and strengthening of national IHL committees and regular exchanges by these committees.

The 13th Regional Seminar on the Implementation of IHL, organised jointly by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the International Red Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), took place from 11 to 14 June 2013 at the OR Tambo Building in Pretoria.

Senior government officials, who are practitioners in the IHL field and responsible for its development, from 16 southern and east African states, including the Indian Ocean Island countries, participated. The countries were South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Angola with the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Comoros represented by their embassies in South Africa. The African Union Commission’s Directorate on International Law also attended.

The theme of this year’s seminar was “Ensuring Respect for IHL”. Countries provided a status report on progress with signing up to IHL instruments, and the implementation and strengthening of compliance with IHL.

The seminar further highlighted the Health Care in Danger (HCiD) Project, which was launched by the ICRC to raise awareness about the safety of humanitarian workers, especially healthcare workers in situations of conflict. According to the ICRC, 921 violent incidents against healthcare personnel took place in 2012 in 22 countries. The protection of journalists in armed conflict was also discussed and it was reported that 119 journalists were killed in 2012, 34 of whom in Syria alone.

Other important presentations centred on cluster munitions and nuclear weapons and their repercussions on civilians. The seminar concluded with a presentation on the “International Criminal Court in Africa: Complementarity and Cooperation”.



South Africa boasts the second-largest reserves of titanium ore in the world, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed and patented technology that converts titanium tetrachloride to titanium powder.

South Africa's CSIR and United States’ aerospace giant Boeing have signed an agreement to collaborate on the research and development of titanium powder for industrial manufacturing processes in the aviation industry.

"This mutually beneficial agreement, bolstered by South Africa's rich titanium ore reserves, supports the nation's long-term economic development goals that include the supply of titanium to many industries, including aerospace," the CSIR said.

A titanium pilot plant was launched in Pretoria recently in a partnership between the CSIR and the Department of Science and Technology. The plant will assist in the up-scaling of the technology and the agreement with Boeing.

"It is a breakthrough in the production of titanium metal powder using a novel continuous process, instead of the more conventional batch process," the Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom, said at the launch of the plant.

The success of the pilot plant will drive the commercialisation of the country's titanium beneficiation strategy and is expected to stimulate development in various sectors.


SAA’s 11th consecutive year of winning the Best Airline in Africa Award makes it the most awarded airline on the continent.
A global customer survey has named SAA as the Best Airline in Africa.

“We are delighted that customers from across the world have for 11 years in a row, voted us the Best Airline in Africa. It is a remarkable achievement that resonates with our vision, which is to be ‘Africa’s leading world-class airline’,” said Suretha Cruse, SAA’s Customer Service Executive.

The announcement was made during the Skytrax World Airline Awards ceremony hosted at the 50th International Paris Air Show on 18 June 2013. Skytrax is an independent aviation research organisation. The awards are regarded as the most prestigious accolades for the world airline industry and provide a global benchmark of airline excellence.

Skytrax each year conducts a customer satisfaction survey among 18 million business and leisure air travellers from 160 countries to decide the award winners. The survey covers over 200 airlines, from the largest international airlines to smaller domestic carriers.
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