Issue 553 | 19 January 2023
    It's Your Voice   UBUNTU Magazine   UBUNTU Radio  
If this newsletter doesn’t load or images don’t display, please click here
Consular Services - Travel Smart with DIRCO


President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended his best wishes to the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year and Annual Spring Festival.
The Lunar New Year is celebrated to usher in a New Year on the day of the first sighting of the new moon in line with the traditional Chinese calendar.

This year has been declared the Year of the Rabbit.

“My dear brothers and sisters from China and all Chinese communities around the world, I wish you all a happy Lunar New Year and a prosperous Spring Festival 2023.

“On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, I wish the Government and the people of China, including here in South Africa, a happy and fulfilling time of goodwill, celebration and friendship, as you renew bonds between friends or reunite with family during this period,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President said that this year, relations between South Africa and China would reach a significant milestone.

“As we enter the New Year, we are also celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China in 1998.

“In addition, South Africa will succeed China as Chair and host of the next BRICS Summit, during which we hope to receive His Excellency, President Xi Jinping in South Africa. These occasions provide ample cause for celebration,” President Ramaphosa said.

– Source:



President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a period of mourning for seven days in honour of the late founding Speaker of South Africa’s democratic Parliament, Dr Frene Ginwala.
Dr Ginwala, an Esteemed Member of the Order of Luthuli, passed away at her at home in Cape Town on Thursday night, 12 January 2023, at the age of 90, following a stroke two weeks earlier.

“President Ramaphosa has directed that the National Flag be flown at half-mast at all flag stations around the country until the evening of Tuesday, 24 January 2023.

“The Presidency will in the coming days announce details of an official memorial service that will take place in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 24 January. This event will serve as a national tribute to the late Speaker,” The Presidency said in a statement on Monday, 16 January 2023.

Born on 25 April 1932, Dr Ginwala served the anti-apartheid struggle and South Africa’s democratic dispensation in a diversity of roles as a lawyer, academic, political leader, activist and journalist.

In 2005, Dr Ginwala was honoured with the Order of Luthuli in Silver for her excellent contribution to the struggle against gender oppression and her tireless contribution to the struggle for a non-sexist, non-racial, just and democratic South Africa.

– Source:



The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has learnt with sadness the news of the passing of Dr Frene Ginwala.
Dr Ginwala was the first Speaker of the National Assembly of Parliament under the democratic dispensation. An esteemed member of the Order of Luthuli, she passed on at the age of 90 years.

Minister Pandor, who, together with Dr Ginwala, served as the presiding officers of Parliament (1999 – 2004), said she had good memories of Dr Ginwala from the time they worked in Parliament.

“To learn of her passing is somewhat unbelievable. My thoughts and prayers are with Dr Ginwala’s family, relatives, friends and comrades during this time as we mourn the loss of a colossal giant of our liberation struggle, human rights activist and a patriot,” Minister Pandor said.

“May the soul of Dr Frene Ginwala rest in peace.”


The South African Government has sent a message of condolence to the Government and the people of Nepal following the crash of a Nepalese Yeti Airlines plane on Sunday, 15 January 2023.
The aircraft, carrying 72 people and four crew, is reported to have crashed near the city of Pokhara in central Nepal.

According to CNN, the plane crashed while en route from the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, to Pokhara, a tourist gateway to the Himalayas.

“The South African Government wishes the Government and people of Nepal, as well as the affected families, strength and comfort,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement.

South Africa and Nepal, according to the department, have strong historical and fraternal bonds based on Nepal’s opposition to racial discrimination and support for South Africa’s liberation struggle.

“The two countries maintain a cordial bilateral relationship, which reflects shared values and a common vision for the future.”



The South African media are invited to submit their entries for the 2023 SADC Media Awards competition.
The SADC Media Awards are open to journalists from the SADC member states. The first prize winners will receive their prizes and certificates on the margins of the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government that will take place in August 2023.

The SADC Media Awards were established in 1996 to recognise best media work in disseminating information on SADC to support the process of regional cooperation and integration in the region.

The awards aim to recognise excellence in journalism in the area of print, photo, television and radio as well as to encourage media practitioners in member states to cover issues pertaining to the region.

The first prize winner in each category receives US$2 500 and the runner-up receives US$1 000.

Journalists who wish to enter the competition can access more information by visiting



Western Cape Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, recently warmly welcomed preliminary statistics received from Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), which showed that Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) recorded a spectacular recovery in passenger numbers during the peak season month of December when compared to pre-pandemic numbers.

“These preliminary statistics received from ACSA show that CTIA recorded 266 656 international two-way passenger numbers for December 2022, resulting in a spectacular 95% recovery when compared to December 2019. The domestic terminal, for the same month, recorded a strong 72% recovery when compared to the 2019 figure with 790 514 2-way passengers recorded. Together, this is expected to bring the two-way passenger numbers for CTIA to over eight million in 2022,” Minister Wenger said.

Over this period, Provincial Traffic Services also noted high levels of traffic on Western Cape roads as citizens and visitors travelled to and within the province.

“It has been a bumper season for the Cape! I am pleased with December’s data showing two-way international passengers at CTIA at 95% recovery when compared to 2019 figures. Wesgro is confident that the province is well on its way to moving from tourism recovery to tourism growth in 2023. Cape Town and the Western Cape will continue to flourish in the coming year, welcoming even more tourists to enjoy wide open spaces and world-class yet affordable travel experiences,” Wrenelle Stander, CEO of Wesgro, commented.

Cruise Cape Town, powered by Wesgro, also indicated that on two separate days this season, the Cape Town Cruise Terminal welcomed three ships in the terminal on the same day – a first for the port. 21 December 2022 saw Hanseatic Spirit (200 pax), Norwegian Jade (2 100 pax) and Seven Seas Voyager (600 pax) in the port together. On 3 January 2023, the Cruise Terminal was home to the Azamara Journey with 359 passengers, the MSC Sinfonia with 2 000 passengers and the Norwegian Jade 1 500 passengers – a bumper 3 859 passengers.

“I would like to thank all stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality sector for playing their part in ensuring a successful festive season period. More visitors to our province mean more jobs for our residents, and so this is excellent news indeed. We are committed to growing these figures even further by connecting Cape Town to more destinations around the world, and by doing whatever we can to remove barriers that stand in the way of this sector’s success,” Minister Wenger concluded.

– Source:



A 31-year-old police constable has become the first woman to complete the South African Police Service (SAPS) Special Task Force (STF) Selection Training Programme in the history of the organisation.
SAPS spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, said the member ‒ with 11 years’ service ‒ was regarded as the only female police officer to have successfully completed the STF training programme without any amendments to the training to suite females.

“She is also the only female police officer that is currently serving in the STF unit as an operational member,” said Brigadier Mathe.

On Thursday, 12 January 2023, the member formed part of a platoon of 10 male police officers, who were bestowed with their STF Parachute Wings by the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola.

The Special Task Force Parachute Wings are awarded to members who have undergone and completed the STF Selection Training Programme.
“The STF Parachute Wings are worn on the left chest and signify that the recipient has been trained to a high level of skill in weapon proficiency, advanced para-military rural tactics, advanced tactical policing for high-risk incidents, hostage release tactics in a variety of high-risk incidents, as well as the ability to deploy operationally by parachute into rural environments,” she said.

Also standing on parade were an additional 10 STF members who were bestowed with their Operators Badge after undergoing a two-year probation period during which they were already serving as members of the elite unit.

The female police officer from the Western Cape, whose identity cannot be revealed for security reasons, says this momentous achievement must be a motivation for other women who continue to break barriers in male-dominated environments.

“If you really want something, you must do everything to obtain it. I wanted to be part of the best, either the best or nothing. If I can do it, other women can and will be able to do it,” she said.

The STF is the only paramilitary unit in the SAPS and falls under the Specialised Operations Component, which is led by Major General Nonhlanhla Zulu. Together with other units and components, they report to the organisation’s first female Deputy National Commissioner, Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili.

General Masemola said the organisation will continue to empower and recognise women.

“Out of 906 applications to join this elite unit, 589 applicants qualified for provisional selection. Ultimately, only 93 applicants reported for selection, [and] only 11 successfully completed the STF Basic Training programme. Suffice to say, the 11 successful candidates, together with the currently serving 10 STF members, have done the organisation proud.

"All members on parade have shown dedication and commitment to their profession. The STF selection criteria are very stringent and those who are selected, must prove their mettle throughout their intensive and rigorous training,” he said.

The STF Unit was established in 1976. The unit’s mandate includes responding and providing operational support to high-risk incidents, which include terrorism, hostage-related incidents and rescue missions, among a host of other high-risk matters.

– Source:




Blue Flag beaches are some of the best beaches in the world, and the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) assessed all submitted South African beaches to decide which get the coveted blue flag status.

Primarily, Blue Flag is an educational programme designed to encourage participating municipalities to meet high environmental and international sustainability standards.

Following a national audit of beaches submitted for assessment by each local municipality, WESSA used 33 criteria to determine if each beach meets the level of service excellence required for Blue Flag recognition. Each beach is measured in four categories: Environmental Education and Awareness, Water Quality, Environmental Management, and Safety Services.

The individual criteria allow for an in-depth analysis of a variety of areas of competence, which include:

  • universal access (for the disabled, elderly and mothers with young children)
  • control of domestic animals (such as dogs on beaches)
  • availability of interpretive signage
  • effective waste management.

The quality international standards, which have been achieved at these beaches are critical drivers, which encourage the economic growth of the coastal areas. Residents and tourists can access a variety of leisure activities at these beaches.

These are the blue flag beaches of the 2022 and 2023 summers. Last year, there were a total of 51 full status beaches and 33 pilot beaches; this year, there are 54 full status beaches and 20 pilot beaches.

This year, Kings Beach in Nelson Mandela Bay has earned an award for having Blue Flag status for 10 consecutive years. De Bakke in Mossel Bay, Western Cape, has also received this award this year. Hessequa got top honours though, with all their blue flag beaches having had 10 consecutive years of status.

Full Status

Eastern Cape

Hamburg – Amathole
Cape St Francis – Kouga (New)
Dolphin – Kouga
Marina Matinique Beach – Marina Martinique (New)
Kings – Nelson Mandela Bay
Humewood – Nelson Mandela Bay
Hobie – Nelson Mandela Bay
Kariega – Ndlambe
Kelly’s – Ndlambe
Middle Kenton on Sea – Ndlambe (New)


Marina – Ray Nkonyeni
Trafalgar – Ray Nkonyeni
Southport – Ray Nkonyeni
Umzumbe – Ray Nkonyeni
Hibberdene – Ray Nkonyeni
Ramsgate – Ray Nkonyeni
Thompson’s Bay – Kwadukuza (New)
Willard – Kwadukuza (New)
Blythdale – Kwadukuza (New)

Western Cape

Silwerstroomstrand – City of Cape Town
Clifton 4th – City of Cape Town
Camps Bay – City of Cape Town
Llandudno – City of Cape Town
Muizenberg – City of Cape Town
Bikini – City of Cape Town
Melkbosstrand – City of Cape Town
Fish Hoek – City of Cape Town
Kleinmond – Overstrand
Hawston – Overstrand
Grotto – Overstrand
Castle beach – Overstrand
Onrus – Overstrand
Struisbaai – Cape Agulhas
Witsand – Hessequa
Preekstoel – Hessequa
Lappiesbaai – Hessequa
Jongensfontein – Hessequa
Gouritzmond – Hessequa
Stilbaai Wes – Hessequa
De Bakke – Mossel Bay
Hartenbos – Mossel Bay
Klein Brak – Mossel Bay
Santos – Mossel Bay
Glentana – Mossel Bay
Herold’s Bay – George (New)
Wilderness – George
Brenton-on-Sea – Knysna
Buffalo Bay – Knysna
Robberg 5 – Bitou
The Waves – Keurboomstrand – Bitou
Nature’s Valley – Bitou
Lookout – Bitou
The Dunes – Bitou
Singing Kettle – Bitou

Pilot Status

Eastern Cape

Blue Water Bay – Nelson Mandela Bay
Wells Estate – Nelson Mandela Bay
Birah – Ngqushwa
Hamburg – Ngqushwa
Mgwalana – Ngqushwa
Mpekweni – Ngqushwa
Mzamba – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (Formally Mbizana)
Mtentu – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Tenza – Mbhashe
Xhora Mouth – Mbhashe
Pennington – Umdoni
Rocky Bay – Umdoni
Preston – Umdoni
Umthwalume – Umdoni
St Michaels – Ray Nkonyeni

Western Cape

Strandfontein – City of Cape Town
Mnandi – City of Cape Town
Victoria Bay – George
Brenton on Sea – Knysna
Buffalo Bay – Knysna.

– Source:



Naledi Toona has been honoured for her love of cooking by being included as one of 18 people or fisheries to share a delicious seafood recipe in “The Ocean Cookbook 2023”. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) hopes the cookbook will inspire people to cook with sustainable seafood.

The MSC, the ocean not-for-profit responsible for the world’s leading sustainable seafood ecolabel, has launched its highly anticipated Ocean Cookbook 2023. The free digital cookbook brings together chefs and fishers from all over the world to create a collection of healthy, delicious everyday recipes that tell a sustainability story about the seafood we all love.

The ocean is a vital part of human life on our planet. It provides daily protein for over a billion people, it is a reliable source of food for billions more, and 200 million people are employed directly or indirectly by the seafood industry. But our ocean needs help: overfishing, illegal and destructive fishing and climate change not only negatively impact species and ecosystems, but communities too.

The cookbook highlights how easy it is to rustle up affordable, healthy, easy-to-make and sustainable seafood dishes at home – suitable for the whole family.

Included in the choice of recipes is a simple and delicious Cape hake recipe by South Africa’s much-adored chef and nutritionist, Naledi Toona. Her recipe features a lightly pan-fried hake served with seasonal vegetables and a creamy coconut sauce to enhance the natural flavours of the hake. This is a healthy recipe the whole family will love.

“Cooking has always been an act of love for me and hake is such a versatile, sustainable and quick-to-cook ingredient. It allows me to show love to my family, today, and to those in the future,” she adds.

The cookbook includes stunning photography from internationally renowned food photographer, David Loftus, who has worked with Jamie Oliver throughout his career. Loftus is a great believer in sustainable fishing.

Other recipes available include smoked salmon and mango salad, creamy Nordic mussels and crispy herring rolls, to name a few.

– Source:




The Ndlovu Youth Choir has been invited back to America’s Got Talent (AGT) this year. They have been included in the AGT’s All-Stars Show, which will highlight 60 acts from around the world.

The choir members are very excited to head back to the stage that gave them global recognition and went on to change every single one of their lives
“With more than 70 local versions of “Got Talent” produced across Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, AGT: All-Stars brings together the most beloved and memorable contestants from across the globe for one of the toughest competitions yet. The best of the best will return to the stage to showcase their talent.” – Simon Cowell

They travelled to America to audition for AGT in 2019 and breezed through all the rounds while filling South Africa and the world with pride! Their first audition went viral and had many South Africans in tears; everyone was bubbling with pride.

The choir forms part of a more significant project, which started in 1994. The Ndlovu Care Group was founded in 1994 by a Dutch doctor named Dr Hugo Templeman, in the rural village of Moutse, Limpopo. The care group provides innovative healthcare, childcare, education and community development to the area.

The Ndlovu Youth Choir was created in 2009 and has since profoundly affected the lives of the young members. The choir demonstrates the potential of any human being when given a chance to achieve excellence, no matter their background, education or place of birth. The youth choir has grown from humble beginnings to the incredible ensemble it is today.

The choir has taken these young South Africans from the rural streets of Moutse to an international stage to show off their amazing talent, and we cannot wait to see what else they have in store for the world!

Best of luck Ndlovu Youth Choir! You are going to make South Africa so proud.

– Source:



Popular Dutch TV show “Wie is de Mol” (The Mole) recently took a trip to Cape Town with its contestants and got to meet the South African Youth Choir.


The contestants each accept a phone call where they are told if they are a candidate or the mole. One does not get to hear which they are, but the point of the show is for the contestants to figure out who is the real mole.

They fast-forward to two weeks later when the contestants are locked in a box in the middle of busy Cape Town hotspots. They need to entice the Capetonians to help them get out of the box. The show follows them through the tasks they need to perform, and one of those leads the contestants to the South African Youth Choir.

The point of the show is for the candidates (and the mole) to win money by doing the tasks. The mole works to sabotage them while trying not to be found out. The winner of the show is the candidate who can name the mole.

The choir has kept its involvement secret until now. The contestants needed to take part in a musical challenge. They were divided into two groups and each was given a task to do with the choir.

“We are so overwhelmed by all the positive comments and messages pouring in from the Netherlands! This exciting experience was certainly one for the books!!” – The South African Youth Choir

This is the second time the show has come to South Africa; they also filmed here in 2013.

– Source:





Eben Basson and Leander Pienaar completed their first Dakar Rally, crossing the finish line in seventh place overall in the T3 Lightweight Prototype category for the G Rally team. Having never driven their OT3 race car before, the 2023 Dakar was the first time they'd get behind its steering wheel, but immediately felt at home like a fish in water.

This year's race was one of the toughest in Dakar's history, but Basson and Pienaar would want no other baptism than the one they got in 2023.
"We came here with one clear objective, and that was to finish the race," said an emotional Basson at the finish line. "But before we started, Leander and I decided that we weren't here to mess around. We set ourselves a target of a top 10 finish."

Which is exactly what they achieved after two gruelling weeks of racing.

Basson and Pienaar faced tough competition throughout the rally, with the six competitors ahead of them having competed in it before. Yet, it soon became apparent that seventh was theirs as the gap to the crew in sixth was just too out of reach.

"At this point, we knew that we did all that we could do. For the last few stages, it became a matter of survival as our focus was to simply defend our overall position," Basson added.

Fortunately, their advantage over the crew in eighth was enough for them to secure the position and 37th overall in the general car standings.

Basson and Pienaar were also awarded the Rookie prize, a well-earned pat on the shoulder for making it to the end of such a tough race.

Basson summed it up: "As a racer at heart, one always wants to win, but realistically, our rookie victory and seventh overall is a great result for us. I'm already thinking of how we can put things in place to return to the world's toughest race once more in 2024."



It takes true grit and determination to take part in the Dakar but even more so to add the challenge of Malle Moto to the mix; South Africa’s Charan Moore did it all and won!
This year’s Dakar has come to an end, and South Africans are immensely proud of the effort put in by our competitors. A total of 18 South Africans were either riders, drivers or co-pilots this year. One of those was Charan Moore, who was riding a Husqvarna for LVLS Rally. He also took part in this year’s Malle Moto and won it!

This was the 31-year-old South African’s second time at the Dakar, which makes the win even more exciting! Aside from winning the Malle Moto division, Moore also placed 28th overall at the Dakar this year.

“A rollercoaster from start to finish. Bike issues, a complete engine change, radiator issues, bush mechanics – all ace out from the comforts of a tent and box of tools and spares but enjoyed every second!

What is Malle Moto?

Malle Moto means a rider is completely unassisted. They are responsible for setting up camp daily, doing maintenance on their bikes or cars and all-around going it alone. It is a tough event to take part in within Dakar but a very rewarding one!

Competitors doing Malle Moto can pack one Malle Trunk with all the equipment they will need to complete the Dakar. The trunk should contain spare parts, tools and equipment and personal belongings. There is also a size limit on the trunk.

This event is gruelling because it limits a person’s sleep and pushes them to their limit over 14 stages. Moore managed to overcome every hurdle and went on to win this event!



Kirsten Landman has completed the Dakar 2023 Malle Moto, coming second in the women’s classification, 12th in Malle Moto and 71st overall!
Landman is a professional off-road and hard-enduro rider from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She has been riding since the age of eight and launched her professional career at the age of 22.

What started as just fun with her family, turned into Kirsten making history and a name for herself worldwide in the hard enduro racing scene! Competing in major international events, the talented rider became the first female to finish races such as Redbull Romaniacs, Redbull Sea to Sky, Redbull Megawatt 111, Redbull Braveman and the Roof of Africa.

She made her Dakar debut in 2020 and went on to become the first African woman to complete the Dakar in Saudi Arabia. After a break from the event, she returned in 2023 to do the race Malle Moto.

– Source:

Stay connected with us
facebook youtube

For back issues of NewsFlash, visit:


video button video button fina winners