Issue 82 | 25 October 2013
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Learn about cultures from across the world.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation, in partnership with the City of Tshwane, will host the Annual Diplomatic Fair 2013 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 26 October 2013 under the theme: “2013, Year of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance – Celebrating 50 Years of the AU/OAU”.

Hosted annually since 2006, the event brings together embassies accredited to South Africa to share, showcase, celebrate and promote cultural diplomacy through creative expressions such as arts, music, languages and global cuisine. Entrance is free. Don’t miss out!



The Ministerial JCC was aimed at strengthening bilateral relations and further cooperation in the fields of, among other things, mining and energy. The Ministers also utilised the JCC to discuss multilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.


At the invitation of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Mohamed Bazoum, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, African Integration and Nigeriens Living Abroad of the Republic of Niger, accompanied by a delegation of senior officials, paid a Working Visit to South Africa from 21 to 23 October 2013.

The purpose of the visit was to jointly chair with Minister Nkoana-Mashabane the Inaugural Session of the JCC between South Africa and Niger on 23 October 2013. The JCC was preceded by a Senior Officials Meeting on 21 and 22 October 2013 during which the status of bilateral cooperation between the two countries was evaluated and discussed and a report prepared for consideration and adoption by the Ministers.

During their official talks, the two Ministers reviewed a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.




“We have just concluded our bilateral discussions which have been characterised by the usual friendliness and comradeship.”

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, hosted her counterpart, Georges Chikoti, Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Angola, for the Third Session of the South Africa-Angola Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) on Friday, 18 October 2013.

Addressing the media afterwards, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said: “During our discussions, we reviewed progress in the bilateral cooperation between our sister republics. In this regard, we have noted with great appreciation the noticeable progress that has been achieved in strengthening bilateral cooperation. To date, we have signed over 22 bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding, covering a wide range of sectors, including trade and industry, energy, science and technology, sport, arts and culture, mining, tourism, defence, etc.”

In 2012, Angola became South Africa’s number one trading partner on the continent. Total South African imports amounted to R23 billion while exports amounted to R8,7 billion.

“We have agreed on the need to further increase and expand our economic cooperation for the benefit of our respective countries and peoples,” Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said.

One of the objectives of the Minister’s PPP is to popularise South Africa’s foreign policy and the mandate of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).


The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana- Mashabane, undertook a PPP to Limpopo on 19 October 2013. The event was held at Megoring Primary School, Mentz, Ga-Mmamabolo, with around 4 000 people in attendance.

The objectives of the department’s PPP are to:

• popularise South Africa’s foreign policy and the mandate of DIRCO
• ensure that a mutually beneficial engagement is established between
DIRCO and a host of non-state actors, i.e. members of the public, academia, business, religious formations, and members of the Diaspora, etc., across the country
• ensure it’s a platform within which we articulate South Africa’s foreign policy principles and positions, and explain some of the decisions we take in our foreign policy engagements
• ensure it’s also a platform on which we illustrate linkages between our foreign policy objectives and the country’s domestic interests
• ensure it’s a platform that seeks to promote social cohesion between citizens, private sectors and other relevant stakeholders
• inform citizens and stakeholders of our programmes towards creating strategic partnerships.


While there is still limited Internet access in South Africa, the department is developing apps for mobile to ensure that the platform is accessible to as many people as possible.


On 17 October, Ubuntu Radio, a 24-hour Internet radio station aimed at enhancing communication on South Africa’s foreign policy and telling Africa’s stories from Africa’s perspective was launched at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s offices.

“South Africa has a good story to tell and we have done extremely well over the past 20 years. Our foreign policy has evolved, but that story is not being told,” said the department’s Deputy Director-General of Public Diplomacy, Clayson Monyela.

DDG Monyela said Ubuntu Radio – accessible via the Internet at – would have a talk-radio format, and would be a major source of reliable, recent and trusted news and conversations on foreign policy at a time when South Africa was positioning itself as a significant player on the continent as well as globally.

“It’s going to be a platform to change the views and opinions as well as getting inputs that can help shape South Africa’s foreign policy going forward," said DDG Monyela.

He further added that the department was still talking to other personalities to complement the DIRCO staff. Among the contributors to the station will be Professor Eddie Maloka, analyst Siphamandla Zondi and reputation architect Thebe Ikalafeng. Other familiar names include actress Florence Masebe, news anchor Kgopedi Wa-Namane, Richard Nwamba, Chief Ntshingila, Mabine Seabe and JP Louw.

The station will also extend its reach by exchanging content for broadcast with identified media partners, including the SABC’s Channel Africa.

The station’s website extends access to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as to the department’s the diplomat and Ubuntu magazines. Source:




The main focus of this initiative was on agroprocessing and mining where businesspeople got an opportunity to meet their Brazilian counterparts. The delegation engaged on possible business collaborations and export opportunities and also visited the different areas of operations to learn how the Brazilians do business.

South African business people were exposed to the South American market by participating in the ITI, held in Brazil from 21 to 25 October 2013.

The ITI was part of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti) Export and Investment Promotion Strategy that focusses on targeted high-growth markets with the objective of creating investment and export opportunities for South African companies and promoting South Africa as a trade and investment destination.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Elizabeth Thabethe, said the initiative would contribute positively to further expose trade opportunities available for South African businesses to tap into Brazil and further learn best practices that can assist them to enhance their businesses locally.

“The strategic relationship between Brazil and South Africa which flows out of our participation in India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) and BRICS, is also reflected in the bilateral trade relationship that the two countries have. We hope that this ITI will further assist in promoting trade and strengthening the economies of the two countries, especially since Brazil has consistently been South Africa’s largest trading partner in Latin America for the past five years,” she added.

The parties discussed how they could work together to create a sustainable environment for BMW South Africa to compete for similar additional investments in the future, should the opportunities arise.


Mercedez-Benz South Africa CEO,
Martin Zimmermann


German car-maker Mercedez-Benz announced its intention to expand its production in South Africa while Ford Motor Company reaffirmed the United States (US) vehicle-maker’s commitment to the country.

In an interview with news agency Bloomberg on Wednesday 16 October, coinciding with the opening of the Johannesburg International Motor Show, Mercedez-Benz South Africa CEO, Martin Zimmermann, said the company would push ahead with its plan to invest US$302 million (R3 billion) in expanding its production at its manufacturing plant in East London.

Zimmerman told Bloomberg that the company would introduce new technology and a third shift in order to boost production from the current 60 000 units to 100 000 units a year.

The plant produces the Mercedes-Benz W204 C-Class for both the local and US markets, and is currently preparing for the introduction of the next-generation C-Class in 2014. The East London plant will be one of just four in the world to manufacture the popular luxury sedan. Source:




Pirates are the only South African team to have previously reached the Caf Champions League final. In 1995, they lifted the title after playing to a 2-2 draw with Asec Abidjan in Johannesburg and then scoring a 1-0 win away from home.

South African club Orlando Pirates won through to the final of the Confederation of African Football’s (Caf) Champions League after holding Tunisian powerhouse Esperance to a 1-1 draw at the Olympic Stadium in Rades on Saturday, 19 October.

With the teams having shared a goalless draw in Soweto, Johannesburg, the Buccaneers progressed to the two-leg title decider on the away goals rule.

It was a huge result for the South Africans as Esperance had reached the last three Caf Champions League finals, winning in 2011 and finishing as runners-up in 2010 and 2012.

Pirates will face Al Ahly for the 2013 title, with the teams meeting in Soweto on 2 November, followed by the second leg in Cairo on 9 November. Source:



It was a giant leap for the 17-year-old’s dream of making an international career in motor sport and he notched up several milestones in the process.


Kelvin van der Linde made South African motor-racing history when he won the 2013 Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup Championship at the Hockenheimring circuit in Germany on Saturday, 19 October.

The teenager from Johannesburg did it in convincing fashion by recording his fifth victory of the nine-round international series after starting from fifth on the grid. Source:

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