Issue 69 | 02 August 2013
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President Jacob Zuma met the UN Messenger of Peace, South African-born Hollywood actress Charlize Theron, on 29 July, at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Theron was accompanied by the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé.

The President and his guests discussed the strides being made in the fight against HIV and AIDS and how collaboration could assist to mitigate the pandemic’s negative impact on young girls.

Theron is the founder of the Africa Outreach Project and earlier this year received a special award at the opening of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, as one of three “exceptional cultural leaders”.
They also explored ways to support South Africa’s efforts to enable young women and girls to lead healthier HIV- and AIDS-free lives.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, undertook a Working Visit to Brazil and Argentina from 30 July to 1 August 2013.

On 30 July, the Minister co-chaired the fifth session of the South Africa-Brazil Joint Commission (JC) with her Brazilian counterpart. The JC is a structured mechanism to manage and monitor bilateral relations between the two countries. The visit to Brazil confirmed South Africa’s view that good bilateral relations with Brazil remained fundamental in the success of the country’s formations such as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) and the Group of 20 (G20), in which South Africa is the only African representative.

In Argentina, the Minister co-hosted the fourth session of the South Africa-Argentina Bi-National Commission (BNC) with her Argentinian counterpart in Buenos Aires. The fourth BNC presented the two countries with a platform to, among other things, share their experiences in the United Nations Security Council as Argentina is currently a non-permanent member for the region for the 2013/14 period.


The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, will undertake a Working Visit to Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, on 4 August 2013, to attend the inauguration of Dr Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s new President. Dr Rouhani was elected in presidential elections, which took place on 14 June 2013.

President-Elect Rouhani has already been congratulated by President Jacob Zuma, who expressed the hope that bilateral relations between South Africa and Iran would be consolidated under his leadership. President Zuma also requested Dr Rouhani to give priority to resolving all outstanding issues with the International Atomic Energy Agency as far as Iran’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 have caused immense hardships to the Iranian people.

The Minister is expected to re-emphasise these messages in her engagements with the Iranian authorities, while at the same time demonstrating South Africa’s desire to give new impetus to bilateral relations. In October 2013, South Africa will host the 11th Meeting of the South Africa-Iran Joint Commission (JC). The JC with Iran is one of the longest-running structured bilateral mechanisms that South Africa has with any country.



“Our obligation as government is to protect children from harm … the department renders international social services to individuals, children and families confronted with social problems.”

The extent and threat of transnational organised crime, especially drug-trafficking, was put in the spotlight by the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, on 28 July 2013. The Minister briefed the media in the morning about how illicit drug-trafficking destroyed the lives of people, in particular young women, their families and how it brought misery to the lives of their children.

The briefing followed the recent repatriation of two babies born in Brazil’s jail cells to South African women incarcerated for drug-trafficking. The repatriation was covered by M-Net’s investigative programme, Carte Blanche, which broadcast the episode on 28 July. The children will be placed in a place of safety and will be entitled to government services.

There are serious ethical and legislative questions about keeping children in prison with their mothers. Many countries only allow children to remain with their mothers in prison for a limited period. In Brazil, this period is limited to six months and thereafter the child must be placed in alternative care either locally or in the mother’s country of origin. 

“We are deeply concerned about the growing number of young South African women who are arrested for drug-trafficking in foreign countries. The majority of these women are recruited from poor communities. This growing trend indicates that the issue of drug-trafficking has a strong gender dimension due to women’s economic vulnerability. Many of the women arrested play a minor role as drug mules while the cartels which recruit them always manage to evade justice. In fact, a higher proportion of South African women are arrested for drug-trafficking crimes in foreign countries,” Minister Dlamini said at the press conference in Pretoria.

Recent information obtained from the Consular Services of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation indicates that there are 337 South African females incarcerated in foreign prisons for drug-trafficking. A large number of these women (92) are incarcerated in some of the nine female prisons in Brazil. Currently, 71 South African females are serving their sentences in female prisons in Sâo Paulo alone. The youngest is aged 20 and the eldest is 62 years old. Most of these women were sole breadwinners for their families before their incarceration. Most are also mothers and their imprisonment places a huge strain on their families. Others are arrested at advanced stages of pregnancy and as a result they give birth to children while in prison. Three are currently pregnant. This creates complex challenges for children, particularly with regard .to their own physical, mental and emotional development, including their interaction with other children.

Since January, 281 drug mules have been arrested at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and 80 of them have been women.


The Free & Equal Campaign aims to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence
and discrimination, and encourage greater respect for the rights of LGBT people.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recently launched Free & Equal, an unprecedented global public education campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality.

At a press conference held in Cape Town, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, was joined by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Justice Edwin Cameron of the South African Constitutional Court to announce the year-long project. A statement of support was read out on behalf of renowned South African singer and United Nations Children's Fund  and Roll Back Malaria Goodwill Ambassador Yvonne Chaka Chaka.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights promises a world in which everyone is born free and equal in dignity and rights – no exceptions, no-one left behind. Yet, it’s still a hollow promise for many millions of LGBT people forced to confront hatred, intolerance, violence and discrimination on a daily basis. Changing attitudes is never easy. But it has happened on other issues and it is happening already in many parts of the world on this one. It begins with often difficult conversations,” said High Commissioner Pillay.



The dti spent about R100 million helping over 1 000 businesses attend 22 national pavilions, 43 trade missions and eight trade initiatives and special projects in 2012/13, in the process enabling them to generate sales of R3,8 billion.

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has ramped up its incentives for small businesses over the last year, and put a number of measures in place to help them become more competitive, says the dti’s Deputy Director-General, Tumelo Chipfupa.

Grant approvals under the dti’s Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP) had increased fourfold – from 306 approvals valued at R96,6 million in 2011/12 to 1 213 approvals valued at R451,2 million in 2012/13.

The BBSDP provides cost-sharing grants for technology and business-support services to black-owned small enterprises. The number of grants approved under the dti’s Cooperative Incentive Scheme increased by more than 70% to 182 approvals valued at R85 million over the same period, while grants under its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme increased by 17% to 1 018 grants valued at R70 million.

The Cooperative Incentive Scheme provides cost-sharing grants to cooperatives to purchase equipment or carry out enterprise support, while the Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme helps businesses to attend national pavilions, trade missions and trade shows.

The dti administers about 15 incentives aimed largely at improving industrialisation and broadening economic participation in the country.


The film is authorised by Mandela, with the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory having provided research and archival support.
The world premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, the long-awaited big-screen dramatisation of Nelson Mandela's autobiography, will take place at the 38th Toronto International Film Festival in September.

The film will be released in South Africa on 28 November. Making the announcement on Wednesday 24 July, producer Anant Singh said he was delighted that the film was selected for the prestigious festival.

"We always believed that Toronto is the perfect platform to launch the film to international audiences and we are pleased to continue a 15-year association with the festival which has featured many of our South African productions, including Red Dust and the Oscar-nominated Yesterday, “said Singh.

The epic film, directed by Justin Chadwick, spans Mandela's extraordinary life, from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected President of South Africa.

The three actors playing Mandela in the film are Siza Pini who plays the eight-year-old Mandela, Atandwa Kani who plays the 16-year-old Mandela, and Idris Elba plays the remaining years.



The aim is to offer hope to those awaiting transplants and encourage the public to become donors, by showing the difference that organ transplants can make to the lives of young and old.

eThekwini Metro Municipality Mayor, James Nxumalo, officially opened the World Transplant Games 2013 in Durban on 28 July. Nxumalo led approximately 1 200 athletes from 50 countries in a beach walk to mark the official opening of the games that started on 29 July and runs until 4 August.

“The World Transplant Games are a celebration of the human spirit, giving individuals with previously life-threatening illnesses, the chance to compete in a high-level sports event and prove that they can not only lead normal, fulfilling lives, but push the boundaries of their physical endurance,” said Nxumalo.

At the 2011 competition in Gothenburg, Sweden, 47 South Africans participated, winning 17 gold, 17 silver and 14 bronze medals. Four South Africans currently hold World Transplant Games world records.
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