Issue 65 | 05 July 2013
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South Africa is the only African country that operates a nuclear power plant, Koeberg.  The IAEA supports South Africa to maintain a high level of security of its nuclear facilities, nuclear and radioactive materials.

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, led a South African delegation to the first multilateral conference on nuclear security, organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 1 to 3 July 2013. The conference took place in Vienna, Austria.

“ … we are conscious of the fact that we share a common vision of a world free of weapons of mass destruction, and in particular nuclear weapons. We are aware of the fact that we cannot strengthen global nuclear security as long as nuclear weapons exist. Progress is therefore required on nuclear disarmament in line with international commitments that we have all undertaken, especially in the context of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” the Minister said in her address.

South Africa welcomed the progress made to strengthen nuclear security at the international level through the important work of the IAEA. South Africa has worked with the IAEA to strengthen nuclear security within its borders. This included training, as well as support for the establishment of a Nuclear Security Support Centre. The IAEA also provided specific assistance to South Africa in this regard during the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In seeking to improve nuclear security internationally, South Africa fully endorses the principle as contained in the Ministerial declaration that measures to strengthen nuclear security should not hamper international cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities.

The drivers of South Africa’s nuclear energy policy are the need to ensure the security of energy supply, diversification of sources of supply, sustained economic growth and development, as well as our international commitments to reduce the carbon footprint.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane held bilateral discussions with Yukiya Amano, Director-General of the IAEA; Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary-elect of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty Organisation; Li Yong, Director-General of the United Nations (UN) Industrial Development Organisation; and Kandeh Yumkella, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Chief Executive of Sustainable Energy for All.



The United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is the principal UN body tasked with the coordination of the economic and social activities of the UN. ECOSOC is thus the main body for policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on issues of economic and social development and for the follow-up to the millennium development goals (MDGs).

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Marius Fransman, undertook a working visit to Switzerland to participate in the 2013 Substantive Session of the ECOSOC at the UN in Geneva, taking place from 1 to 26 July 2013.

The ECOSOC Substantive Session is held annually in alternative years in New York and Geneva. The 2013 Substantive Session will incorporate the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR), which is to focus on the theme “Science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture for promoting sustainable development and achieving the MDGs”. Additionally, a thematic debate will be held on the contribution of the ECOSOC to the elaboration of the development agenda post-2015. Panel discussions on international cooperation in the development, transfer and diffusion of technologies in Africa and least developed countries, as well as one on Universal Health Coverage, will also be held.

Deputy Minister Fransman made a statement on the theme of the AMR, as well as participated in the thematic debate and panel discussions.

South Africa assumed its membership of ECOSOC on 1 January 2013, for the term 2013 to 2015. South Africa’s three-year term on the ECOSOC presents an opportunity to strategically position South Africa’s leadership on development issues and reinforce the country’s role as a consistent and effective player in multilateralism while ensuring that the ECOSOC is further strengthened and reformed to better meet evolving global challenges and the needs of developing countries. The council consists of 54 member countries, elected on a rotational basis, by the UN General Assembly.



“We know that the Somali Government and the international community, including the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) are working tirelessly and at great risk to bring security and stability to the country.”

Neither the violent incidents in South Africa against Somalis nor the terrorist attacks in Mogadishu will impede our commitment and resolve to strengthen the bilateral relations between Somalia and South Africa. 

This is according to the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ebrahim Ebrahim, who was addressing the media at the conclusion of the visit by the Somalia Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jamal Barrow, on 2 July 2013.

Dr Barrow was in South Africa on a fact-finding mission to assess the situation on the ground and to engage with South African authorities regarding attacks on Somali nationals in some of the townships.

Deputy Minister Ebrahim said: “We were therefore extremely disheartened when we learnt of brutal attacks on Somali (and other) nationals in some of our townships. I must reiterate the words that have been echoed over and over again since those incidents – South Africa belongs to ALL who live in it!”

Dr Barrow and his team engaged with various members of the Somali community, including the Somali elders. They also had the opportunity to visit some of the townships and view first-hand the conditions of Somali nationals living in South Africa. He met with the Minister of Home Affairs, Naledi Pandor, to discuss the legal repatriation of Somalis who wish to relinquish their asylum status and return home now that there is greater hope for peace and stability. He also met with the Deputy Minister of Police, Makhotso Sotyu, during which they discussed the safety of Somalis in the country and efforts by the South African Police Service to identify the perpetrators of violence against Somali nationals in South Africa.

Deputy Minister Ebrahim said Dr Barrow had expressed his satisfaction with the efforts of the South African Government to address the concerns of the Government of Somalia.

“These incidents in which lives of innocent Somalis were lost are indeed regrettable and we cannot over-emphasise our condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims,” he said.

The Deputy Minister expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the South African nations who were killed in the attack on the United Nations Office in Somalia on 19 June 2013.



AGOA offers tangible incentives for African countries to open their economies and build free markets which integrate Africa into the global economy.

President Barack Obama of the United States of America (USA) has acknowledged the importance of the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) for Africa’s economies and pledged his Administration’s support for the renewal of AGOA beyond 2015. President Obama paid an Official Visit to South Africa, at the invitation of President Jacob Zuma, from 28 June to 1 July 2013.

“I want to renew AGOA so that we can generate more trade and more jobs,” President Obama said, although trade negotiators will still work out the details.

Through its preferential trade access to the USA, AGOA contributes to South Africa’s efforts in placing the economy on a job-creating growth path. South Africa and all countries that benefit from the scheme in Africa have lobbied for AGOA to be extended beyond 2015 and that its benefits be deepened and extended.

The two presidents held bilateral talks in Pretoria on 29 June 2013 where they discussed the status of bilateral relations; health; education; energy;  safety and security cooperation; development assistance; as well as peace, security and development cooperation in Africa. They agreed on the importance of strengthening bilateral relations, including trade and investment relations and looked forward to the next meeting of the Strategic Dialogue to be hosted in Washington DC.

Doubling access to electricity

Delivering an address to the University of Cape Town on 30 June 2013, President Obama announced that the USA would lead an initiative aimed at doubling access to electric power across sub-Saharan Africa.

According to Times Live, the initiative, which will bring "light where there is currently darkness," will focus on boosting access to electricity in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.

The Power Africa initiative will receive $7 billion in US investment and an additional $9 billion in commitments from private companies, including General Electric and Symbion Power.

An AIDS-free generation

During the visit, President Obama praised South Africa for leading the way in tackling HIV and AIDS and paving the way for a brighter future for its people and their families. The President visited the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Centre in Cape Town on 30 June 2013. 

“South Africa obviously has faced a heavy burden from HIV as well as other diseases – tuberculosis, most recently. But the great news is that South Africa is now leading the way in caring for its citizens, in paving the way for a brighter future for the South African people and their families.”

He said because of the wonderful work that’s being done on the ground, because of the partnership between the USA and South Africa – a model which has been duplicated across the continent – there was the possibility of achieving an AIDS-free generation.

Robben Island: an experience the family will never forget

The Obama family, including First Lady Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha, visited Robben Island, Cape Town, in an “experience the family would never forget”, Ms Obama said.

Although President Obama had previously visited the island as a senator, he told the press following the visit that it was unique to experience it with his daughters.

“Seeing them stand within the walls that once surrounded Nelson Mandela, I knew this was an experience they would never forget. I knew that they now appreciated, a little bit more, the sacrifices that Madiba and others had made for freedom.”

Arrival of Air Force One at Waterkloof Air Force Base, Pretoria

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, met and welcomed the Obama family on their arrival in South Africa on 28 June 2013.

The Minister was interviewed by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. Click here for the interview and footage of the arrival:>



The meeting acknowledged that the African region was witnessing economic growth of unprecedented proportions, with a young population and vast natural resources. Leaders committed to a roadmap to be implemented primarily with Africa’s own resources and called upon development partners to strengthen their partnerships.

Heads of state and government of African Union (AU) member states – together with representatives of international organisations, civil society, the private sector, farmers, youth and other partners – have unanimously adopted a declaration to end hunger in Africa by 2025.

The declaration calls for a combination of policies to promote sustainable agricultural development with social protection, for a budgetary allocation focussed on the poor, recognising the importance of non-state actors to ensure food security.

The document also reaffirms their determination to accelerate the implementation of the Maputo Declaration (July 2003) on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa as outlined within the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme Framework.

African heads of state and government met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 1 July 2013 to decide on innovative and actionable measures to put an end to hunger in Africa.




South Africa’s policy on Western Sahara is based on the principles of self-determination, decolonisation, the promotion of human rights and international law.


The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, hosted her Western Sahara counterpart, Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, for talks in Pretoria on Thursday, 27 June.

The two signed three memorandums of understanding on diplomatic consultations, financial contribution towards the construction of a youth sport development complex, and financial contribution towards the humanitarian landmine assistance programme in Western Sahara.

"The signing of these agreements will further solidify the strong relations that already exist between South Africa and Western Sahara," Minister Nkoana-Mashabane told reporters after the meeting.

The two ministers also agreed on the need to increase humanitarian support to the Saharawi refugees, who continue to live in harsh desert conditions due to the non-resolution of the conflict in the Sahel region in north Africa.



One of Aspen's primary strategic intents is to further globalise its business, increase its representation across a number of additional territories and provide support to its growing global presence with a differentiated pipeline.

South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare has signed a R10-billion deal with Dutch pharmaceutical firm MSD to acquire an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing business in the Netherlands and satellite office in the United States of America (USA). The API business sites are made up of manufacting operations based in Oss, parts of the Moleneind and De Geer sites and the Boxtel site in the Netherlands, as well as Sioux City, Iowa, in the USA.

"The products manufactured at the sites fall into two categories, namely biochemicals, where biological processes are involved, and chemicals where the process is fully synthetic," MSD said in a statement. 

The deal also includes the option to acquire a portfolio of 11 branded finished dose form molecule products from MSD, known as Merck in the USA and Canada. These finished dose products cover a range of treatments such as hormone replacement therapy, corticosteroids, anabolic steroids, oral contraceptives and anti-coagulants with brands such as Benutrex, Orgaran and Ovestin, among others.

Aspen is Africa's largest generic pharmaceutical company and ninth in the world.




This demonstrates the confidence that international manufacturers have in South Africa's aerospace industry. We have proven ourselves to be a reliable and innovative top tier supplier to one of the most sophisticated aircraft manufacturing programmes in the world.

South African state-owned defence equipment manufacturer Denel has signed a R157-million agreement with Airbus to manufacture tail plane parts for the A400M strategic airlifter. The contract will last for eight years, with production beginning in the next few months. The first finished parts will be shipped to Airbus' manufacturing plant in Stade, Germany, in August 2013.

“Airbus’s decision to place a third major order with Denel shows satisfaction with the quality of our design and manufacturing processes and our ability to deliver on time and within budgets. The deal includes the manufacturing of vertical beams known as spars, horizontal composite machinings called ribs and a connecting plate at the bottom known as the sword. All of these parts are constructed from carbon fibre composites and covered with a metallic skin and added to the internal tail structure before the plane is assembled,” said Denel’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Riaz Saloojee.



Previously, the city hosted the World Cup in 2009, 2011 and 2012, and will this year host the World Championships, the biggest event on mountain biking’s world calendar.

World cycling’s governing body, the UCI, released the
2014 Mountain Bike World Cup calendar last week, with
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, included as host of the opening
round of the global cross-country and downhill season.

The event will take place at the Cascades Mountain Bike Park
in KwaZulu-Natal’s capital city on 5 and 6 April.

In addition to short course and gravity mountain bike racing,
Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg will also welcome
mountain bike marathon contenders for the 2014 UCI MTB
Marathon World Championships, which will take place from
27 to 29 June.
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