Issue 98 | 20 February 2014
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MINISTER’S ANNUAL BANQUET: CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF DEMOCRACY
 
 
 
South Africa, as a valued and respected member of the international community, is a very popular destination for diplomats. The country houses the second-largest number (315) of diplomatic representation accredited to any capital after Washington DC.
 
 
 
 
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, hosted the Minister’s Annual Banquet in honour of the Diplomatic Corps on 15 February 2014 at Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset-West, Western Cape.

More than 700 guests attended the lavish event, which was sponsored by Eskom, Vodacom, Dimension Data, MTN, PetroSA, Old Mutual, SAMSA and Standard Bank.
 
 
RAMAPHOSA APPOINTED AS SPECIAL ENVOY
 
The appointment of the African National Congress Deputy President comes at the request of Sri Lanka and South Sudan for assistance in bringing about peace and reconciliation in those parts.
 
 
President Jacob Zuma has announced that Cyril Ramaphosa has been appointed as South Africa’s Special Envoy to Sri Lanka and South Sudan.

“His expertise in conflict resolution and negotiations, as well as our country’s experience in this regard, will greatly assist the two countries to resolve their problems,” said the President during his sixth State of the Nation Address on 13 February.

The President said progress was being made in negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan on outstanding issues following the secession.

Thousands of people are believed to have been killed and some 870 000 others have fled their homes, 145 000 of them to neighbouring countries and 75 000 to United Nations bases within the country, since fighting broke out in December last year between the forces of President Salva Kiir and former Deputy President Riek Machar.

President Zuma said South Africa would continue to support peacemaking and conflict resolution. – Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
 
 
BRICS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MINISTERS VISIT THE SKA SITE
 
 
The tour to the construction site formed part of the First Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meeting, which started in Kleinmond on 9 February 2014.
 
 
The Minister of Science and Technology of South Africa, Derek Hanekom, recently headed a delegation of science and technology ministers and senior officials from BRICS to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) construction site near Carnarvon, Northern Cape. 

The BRICS ministers and officials received a presentation on MeerKAT and the SKA from Dr Bernie Fanaroff, Director of the South African SKA Project, after which they toured the facilities, including the KAT-7 demonstrator telescope and the underground data centre, which is still under construction.

The ministers were impressed with the progress made in the construction of the MeerKAT, the South African precursor to the SKA telescope.

The Russian Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Ludmila Ogorodova, expressed the hope that Russia could get involved in the project.

Minister Hanekom remarked that every time he visited the site he was inspired by the rapid progress of infrastructure development at the site and the expansion of the facilities, which made it clear that South Africa would be able to handle the mega-infrastructure needs of the SKA. – Source: www.skatelescope.org
 
 
COGTA MINISTER HOSTS HIS PALESTINIAN COUNTERPART
 
 
 
The MOU provides a framework for cooperation between the two countries in the fields of local governance and municipal development and is currently being implemented.
 
The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lechesa Tsenoli, is hosting his counterpart, the Minister for Local Government in the State of Palestine, Saed Al Koni, and his delegation of senior officials from 16 to 22 February 2014.

The visit is part of the strengthening of relations between the State of Palestine and the Republic of South Africa, after a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the respective Ministries in July 2013. The MoU provides for cooperation in the following broad areas:
  • legal framework of local governance
  • municipal finances and intergovernmental fiscal relations
  • urban and strategic development planning
  • amalgamation and restructuring of local government units
  • intergovernmental alignment, coordination and harmonisation
  • community participation in local government
  • municipal engineering and planning
  • municipal elections.
 
 
THIRD AFRICAN FILM WEEK HELD IN GREECE
 
Throughout the course of Third African Film Week, a total of 18 feature films and one short film will be screened, mainly drama but also documentaries, from eight African countries, thus enabling the public to become familiar with the cultural experiences of each country.
 
 
Following the great success of the previous two years, the Third African Film Week will take place from 20 to 26 February 2014 at the Greek Film Archive in Kerameikos. All screenings will have free admission.

The public will have the opportunity to continue its journey to the continent, to follow familiar or not so familiar trails, and, by crossing geographical boundaries, to get to know even more movies and documentaries, produced mostly between 2004 and 2013 by renowned and younger directors.

The opening film to be screened on Thursday, 20 February is Wled Ammar / Génération Maudite / A Damned Generation (2013) by Nasredine Ben Maati from Tunisia. 

During the Third African Film Week, the Greek Film Archive will have the honour to welcome in Athens invited guests such as director Kunle Afolayan from Nigeria, South African director Zola Maseko and South African director and producer Rapitse Montsho, who will introduce their films, as well as Pedro Alfredo Ramalhoso, Managing Director of the Angolan Institute of Cinema, Audiovisual and Multimedia.
 
 
SA ISSUES MANDELA COMMEMORATIVE STAMP
 
While this is not the first stamp issue featuring Mandela, it is the first to be issued since he passed away on 5 December.
 
 
The South African Post Office and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have launched a special stamp to commemorate the life and legacy of the late Nelson Mandela.

It was released on Tuesday, 11 February – exactly 24 years since Mandela's release from Victor Verster Prison in Cape Town on 11 February 1990 – as part of a philatelic souvenir folder containing a high-quality miniature sheet depicting Mandela along with a brief summary of his life history.

Each souvenir folder costs R50 and is available at all post offices, as well as online at www.virtualpostoffice.co.za. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the stamps will be donated to the Mandela Foundation. – Source: www.southafrica.info
 
 
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