Issue 96 | 13 February 2014
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The 2014 SoNA will be delivered on 13 February at 19:00, as has been the case for the past years.
The President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, will deliver his SoNA to Parliament on Thursday, 13 February 2014.

During the SoNA, the President talks about government’s achievements of the past year and looks to the future by presenting a programme for the coming year, called the Programme of Action (PoA). The PoA sets out government’s plans to address various key government programmes.

Watch the speech on TV or listen to it on radio. It will also be streamed live on the Internet ( The SoNA will be followed by debates on the address on 18 and 19 February 2014, and the President’s reply to the debate on 20 February 2014.
“Our country is a much better place to live in now than before 1994, because of the participation and contribution of South Africans. We must continue participating in building our country.” – President Jacob Zuma.
South Africa’s national and provincial elections – the fifth general elections since the country attained democracy in 1994 – will take place on 7 May 2014, President Jacob Zuma recently.

“These are historic elections, as they take place during the 20th anniversary of our freedom from apartheid bondage. They provide an opportunity for us to further consolidate the democracy and freedom that we worked so hard to achieve, and for which esteemed South Africans such as former President Nelson Mandela sacrificed life’s comforts.”

The President urged all South Africans “to promote peace, tolerance and peaceful coexistence as we move towards the elections and during the elections".

“We have worked hard to build a peaceful and stable South Africa from the ruins of apartheid violence, divisions and hatred. Let us make this a vibrant, robust, exciting, peaceful and most successful election, and maintain our track record of successful elections.” – Source:
South Africa continues to enjoy cordial bilateral relations with the Republic of Congo. The formal relations between the two countries are structured through the Joint Commission of Cooperation as a mechanism to monitor and guide the implementation of agreements.
President Jacob Zuma undertook a working visit to Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, on 11 February 2014.

President Zuma attended the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Signature of the Brazzaville Accord on Peace in southern Africa. The occasion marked the end of the Brazzaville negotiations, which ended the Angolan civil war with the signing of the Brazzaville Protocol on 22 December 1988, and prepared the groundwork for the independence of Namibia and ultimately South Africa.

President Zuma was accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
The meeting originated within the context of the First Summit of the BRICS Leaders held in 2009 in Yekaterinburg, Russia, where the leaders at the time envisaged cooperation in the field of STI with the aim to engage in fundamental research and development of advanced technologies.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, addressed the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) STI Ministerial Meeting in Cape Town on 10 February 2014.

The theme for the first STI Ministerial Meeting, “A Strategic Partnership for Equitable Growth and Sustainable Development”, presented BRICS with a unique opportunity to address, on the one hand, the challenges of global competitiveness and leadership in frontier sciences and new technologies, and enhance, on the other, equitable growth and sustainable development through strategic cooperation in the fields of STI.

The meeting played a pivotal role in deliberating the BRICS implementation framework for STI. This strategic framework will serve to clearly define the modalities and operational instruments to support STI cooperation within the framework of BRICS. There is already broad agreement among BRICS partners on possible priority areas for BRICS STI collaboration.

These include, among others, exchange of information on STI policies and programmes and promotion of innovation; food security and sustainable agriculture; climate change and natural disaster mitigation; new and renewable energy and energy conservation; nanotechnology; basic research; space, aeronautics, astronomy and Earth observation; medicine and biotechnology; water resources and pollution treatment; high-technology zones/science parks and technology incubators; and technology and knowledge transfer.
“… We wish to reiterate our unvarying and unyielding support to the legitimate struggles of the people of Cuba. As a country, we will continue to defend these struggles until the citizens of these countries enjoy and benefit from full freedom, independence and justice.” – Deputy Minister Marius Fransman.
South Africa will continue to support all solidarity programmes with Cuba, and will seek to explore avenues of further cooperation with the South American country.

Speaking on the occasion of the International Solidarity Conference on Cuba, Western Sahara and Palestine – hosted by Parliament recently – the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Marius Fransman, said the common struggles and shared aspirations of Cuba and South Africa would ensure that South Africa remained committed to “growing our bilateral and multilateral relations with Cuba”.

Under the auspices of the SA-Cuba Joint Consultative Mechanism, Deputy Minister Fransman said Pretoria would continue to consolidate political, bilateral and multilateral relations.

The Deputy Minister reiterated South Africa’s support for Western Sahara and Palestine, calling for their freedom, equality and the right to self-determination. – Source:
The agreement focusses on key areas, such as combatting impunity for perpetrators, capacity- building and training to enhance the capacity of peacekeepers and security actors. It also strengthens national policies, legislation and institutions working on conflict-related sexual violence.
The United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) affirmed their common commitment “to put an end to history’s oldest and least condemned crime” by signing a landmark agreement on the prevention of and response to conflict-related sexual violence in Africa, a senior UN official said recently.

“All good forces must work together to combat the horrible scourge of sexual violence in war and conflict,” said the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura, who co-signed the document with Ambassador Smaïl Chergui of Algeria, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the AU.

The document was signed on January 31, the final day of the 22nd AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. – Source:
The annual gathering, called “Buy Local – Make it Your Business”, included discussions around local procurement, job creation and the impact of local purchases on the manufacturing sector.
The Minister of Trade and Industries, Rob Davies, officially opened the “Buy Local” Expo on 10 February 2014.

Other ministers, business leaders, small business owners, entrepreneurs, captains of industry and representatives of community and labour gathered in Ekurhuleni to attend the Proudly South African Summit and Expo.

Some of the speakers included the Minister of Public Enterprises, Malusi Gigaba, the MEC of Gauteng Economic Development, Mxolisi Xayiya, and the Chief Procurement Officer of National Treasury, Kenneth Brown.

Local procurement has been recognised as a key driver for economic growth and job creation by the government, business, labour unions and community constituencies. The summit also served as a platform for Government and business to provide feedback on local procurement and the impact it has had on job creation. – Source:
The agreement to explore mutual prospects in South Africa’s coal sector was reached after a meeting between Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) officials and Coal India representatives on the sidelines of the African Mining Indaba in Cape Town recently.
The dti is to team up with Indian state-owned company Coal India Limited to explore opportunities in the South African mining industry value chain, the dti announced recently.

“Coal of India is in the business of mining and exporting low-grade thermal coal and has been mapping the South African coal-mining industry, with the interest of acquiring mining concessions and information on how best to exploit coal deposits in a way that serves the best interest of all stakeholders,” the dti said in a statement.

The dti’s Yunus Hoosen said discussions like these with different stakeholders were “a breakthrough on how South Africa could engage more productively with investors in the mining sector”.

Hoosen said the talks also served as a platform for encouraging big mining role players to develop smaller mining companies in the coal sector, and also to zoom in on the beneficiation and localisation opportunities within the industry. – Source:
Since the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) launched Ubuntu Radio four months ago, the station has been steadily positioning itself as an authority when it comes to “telling the African story by Africans from an African perspective”.
The station recently announced that it had secured the services of former 702, Metro FM and Radio 2000 broadcaster Lupi Ngcayisa. This comes hot on the heels of signing the much loved Princess of Africa, Yvonne Chaka Chaka. Former Miss SA and Miss World Africa, Bokang Montjane, is also set to tell the African story as she’s come to know it on Ubuntu Radio. Their shows will start on 1 March.

They join a galaxy of stars in Florence Masebe, Onkgopotse JJ Tabane, Thebe Ikalafeng, Richard Mwamba, Kwena Moabelo, Siphamandla Zondi, Pinky Khoabane, Chief Ntshingila, Thuli Zulu, Bobby Morwe, DIRCO’s ambassadors many other diplomats spread across 125 countries.

The launch of Ubuntu Radio, South Africa’s first government-run, 24-hour, online radio station, is consistent with the active and prominent role that South Africa plays in global affairs.
Cape Town is one of 33 finalists competing for this year’s Global Earth Hour City title, from a total of 163 entrants, six of them South African.
Cape Town has been named South Africa’s Earth Hour Capital in recognition of the city’s actions to address climate change, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced recently.

The title is awarded as part of the global Earth Hour City Challenge, a collaborative effort between the WWF and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, which aims to highlight and reward cities that are prepared to make substantial long-term efforts to combat climate change.

“We are exceptionally proud of Cape Town’s contribution to building a sustainable future that both protects the environment and improves the lives of citizens of South Africa,” WWF South Africa CEO Morné du Plessis said in a statement.

Once national Earth Hour Capitals have been chosen for each of the 14 participating countries, an expert jury will scrutinise the information supplied by finalist cities to identify the overall Earth Hour Capital.

The grand title will be awarded at the Earth Hour City Challenge Conference and Awards Ceremony in Vancouver, Canada in March. – Source: and World Wildlife Fund South Africa
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