Issue 555 | 2 February 2023
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The Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders have called on the Kingdom of Eswatini to urgently initiate a national dialogue as tensions continue to rise in that country.


This comes after the murder of a leading human rights lawyer and political activist in the Kingdom of Eswatini, Thulani Maseko, who was shot dead on 21 January 2023.

SADC leaders convened the Extra-Ordinary Organ Troika Summit of Heads of State and Government on Tuesday, 31 January 2023, in Windhoek, Namibia.

The summit was officially opened and chaired by the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr Hage G Geingob.

President Geingob urged all stakeholders in the Kingdom of Eswatini to remain calm and participate peacefully in a national dialogue. 

“The summit condemns all killings and damage to property in the Kingdom of Eswatini. The summit urges the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini to urgently initiate the process of the National Dialogue and urges all stakeholders in the Kingdom of Eswatini to remain calm and participate peacefully in the National Dialogue,” SADC Chair said.

He reiterated SADC’s condemnation of the killing of Maseko, who at the time of his death was Chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum.

SADC further urged the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini to conduct a “swift, transparent and comprehensive investigation into the killing of Maseko”.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is the outgoing Chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, attended the summit accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor; Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thandi Modise; and Minister in The Presidency, Mondli Gungubele.


The summit reiterated the call for member states to urgently respond to requests for critical capabilities to enhance the operational capability of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM).

“The summit noted the ongoing investigations being undertaken by SAMIM leadership following a disturbing video clip circulating on social media depicting what appears to be SAMIM personnel burning deceased people and reiterated that the public will be informed once the investigations are completed, as communicated by the Chairperson of the Organ in his statement issued on 11 January 2023,” SADC said in a communiqué.

Kingdom of Lesotho

The summit also commended the Government and the people of the Kingdom of Lesotho for conducting peaceful and successful elections, and congratulated the Revolutionary for Prosperity Party and the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Ntsokoane Samuel Matekane.

The summit further welcomed the commitment made by Prime Minister Matekane to prioritise the implementation and completion of the comprehensive national reform process and approved the Action Plan for the Lesotho Reform Oversight Committee to monitor the finalisation of the reform process in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

The summit noted with deep concern the unstable security situation in the eastern part of the DRC.

SADC leaders strongly condemned the upsurge of conflicts and activities of armed groups, including M23 rebels and the support provided to the armed groups by foreign forces.

“The summit resolved to initiate dialogue among the Member States of different Regional Economic Communities (RECs) that have deployed forces in the DRC, with a view to establish and implement mechanisms for the effective coordination of their interventions in the DRC.”

The summit adopted the draft African Union Declaration on the United States-proposed “Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act” and urged member states to communicate SADC’s position, and reaffirmed the stance of non-alignment on conflicts outside the continent and the region at multilateral fora.

The summit commended President Geingob for his leadership to galvanise concerted efforts towards the attainment of lasting peace and stability in the region.

– Source:



The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, delivered the keynote address at the Annual Kgoshi Mampuru II Commemoration event on Saturday, 28 January 2023, at the Sekwati Sports Grounds, Mamone, Limpopo.

Kgoshi Mampuru II was the brave King of the Bapedi people, who was hanged on 22 November 1883 for refusing to recognise the then Republic Government.

In 2012 and 2013, the democratic Government of South Africa renamed the Pretoria Central Prison and Potgieter Street after Kgoshi Mampuru II.




The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, on 26 and 27 January 2023, co-chaired the 15th South Africa-European Union (SA-EU) Ministerial Political Dialogue (MPD) with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.


The MPD was attended by the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen; the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides; and the European Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuiness.

A number of South African Cabinet ministers also participated in the engagements, including the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza; the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande; the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana; the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel; and the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo. The high-level participation indicated the importance of the Strategic Partnership for both sides.

Both sides discussed how to further strengthen the Strategic Partnership, including in key areas such as trade and investment, energy, health, education, training and skills development as well as science, technology and innovation, to name but a few.

Minister Pandor said South Africa appreciated the EU’s continued support of the development cooperation aligned to the National Development Plan, the backing it received during the COVID-19 pandemic and the creation of the local mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub.

“This support and partnership enhance Africa’s own capacities,” Dr Pandor said.

“I hope that during our engagement today we will be able to review all the opportunities for enhancing two-way trade and increasing investment under the existing bilateral and multilateral frameworks,” she said.

“We also greatly appreciate the EU partnership at the regional level and continental level, which through our Strategic Partnership, can also be enhanced to be more effective.”

She told delegates that the bilateral engagements and events on Thursday, 26 January 2022, were most productive and successful.

These included the ceremonial signing of a number of partnerships, most notably the SA-EU Multi-Annual Indicative Programme; the centrepiece of the strategic relationship between the country and the union, and an integral instrument in the EU’s support for South Africa’s development priorities.

According to the Minister, the delegates also spoke about peace and security issues and developments.

“Our discussions will no doubt contribute to how we seek to address all these pressing challenges through our various levels of engagement, including at the United Nations (UN) with our shared commitment to multilateralism, democratic principles and the Rule of Law,” she said, adding that strengthening the UN system was a priority.

“For the first time, the various engagements under the Strategic Partnership are taking place as they were meant to be synchronised.”

She said the parties would soon receive feedback on the South Africa-EU Joint Cooperation Council (JCC), which took place in South Africa on 7 December 2022.

This comes after several decisions were taken to reflect current realities and priorities.

The delegates also discussed the preparations for the Eighth South Africa-EU Summit, which South Africa will host in the first half of 2023.

The summit will touch on political and security cooperation, cooperation in international fora, trade and investment as well as financial flows.

“Regarding the latter issue, South Africa appreciates the technical assistance received from the EU related to the possible greylisting of South Africa by the Financial Action Task Force.”

This is after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed two acts in December 2022, which is hoped will assist the country make progress to avoid such a greylisting, which Dr Pandor believes would have disastrous consequences.

Minister Pandor said she also looked forward to addressing global and local challenges, focussing on the Just Energy Transition, Green Hydrogen, health, education, science, technology and innovation.

“All the agenda items are relevant to the Strategic Partnership including its newer areas of engagement. EU support in these areas can help move South Africa forward on a path of sustainable development.”

South Africa is one of 10 countries in the world that has a Strategic Partnership with the EU. The SA-EU Strategic Partnership Joint Action Plan, which was signed in Brussels in May 2007, provides for regular engagements at different levels, including the JCC at Senior Officials’ level, the MPD at Ministerial level and the Summit at Presidential level.

– Source:



United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, recently announced the appointment of Mojankunyane Gumbi of South Africa as Special Adviser for Addressing Racism in the Workplace.
On behalf of the South African Government, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has congratulated Adv Gumbi on her appointment.

Minister Pandor said South Africa was extremely pleased that yet another South African had been appointed to such a prestigious role in the UN.

“This augurs well with my department’s strategy to encourage and get as many South Africans as possible to occupy strategic positions in multilateral organisations.”, Minister Pandor added.

Minister Pandor wished Adv Gumbi well in her responsibilities.

The Special Adviser will provide strategic advice to the Secretary-General on addressing racism and racial discrimination, as well as oversee the implementation of the long-term Strategic Action Plan adopted by the organisation in 2022 to address racism in the workplace. Following the adoption of the Strategic Action Plan, every Secretariat entity was asked to develop and implement its own action plan, while an Implementation Steering Group under the leadership and stewardship of the Special Adviser will monitor and guide corporate-level actions to implement the Strategic Action Plan. An Anti-Racism Team has been established to support the Special Adviser.

Adv Gumbi is currently Chancellor of the University of Venda, a position she was appointed to in 2020. She is the founder of Mojanku Gumbi Advisory Services, a Johannesburg-based business advisory firm. From 2018 to 2019, she served as Ombudsman of the University of Johannesburg. She was a Special Adviser to South Africa President Thabo Mbeki from 1999 to 2008. From 1994 to 1999, she was an Adviser to then Deputy President Mbeki in the Mandela Administration. She was involved in peacemaking initiatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Comoros, Sudan, Lesotho, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Iran and the Middle East. Prior to serving in The Presidency, she was an attorney from 1984 and an advocate from 1993.

Ms Gumbi holds Law degrees from the South African universities of the North (now University of Limpopo) and Witwatersrand, and a certificate in Trial Advocacy from the University of Texas in Austin.



The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Alvin Botes, on Monday, 30 January 2023, opened the African Regional Seminar on the Universalisation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in Pretoria.
The seminar was co-hosted by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and saw the participation of 37 African states.

The TPNW, according to the department, is a landmark agreement in the history of nuclear disarmament and represents the desire for member states of the United Nations (UN) to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

The TPNW intends to further stigmatise and delegitimise nuclear weapons based on the adverse and indefensible humanitarian consequences of their use.

The treaty emphasises the humanitarian consequences of the use of such weapons.

“African states played a critical role during the open-ended working group on nuclear disarmament that culminated in the negotiation and adoption of the TPNW by the vast majority of UN member states in July 2017.”

This is by the declaration of the Organisation of African Unity as far back as 1964 for the denuclearisation of Africa, and the establishment of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, also known as the Pelindaba Treaty, adopted in 1997.

The TPNW and the Pelindaba Treaty express the prohibition of nuclear weapons on the African continent while supporting the continued use of nuclear technologies for peaceful uses that contributes to socio-economic development.

The African Regional Seminar took stock of the TPNW from a regional perspective and considered the need for further progress towards universalisation of the treaty on the continent.

“This will entail raising awareness about the TPNW, its importance for the African states, its place in the global and regional peace and security architecture as well as to highlight discussions about the risks posed by nuclear weapons and their catastrophic humanitarian consequences.”

Universalisation of the TPNW maximises the authority of the treaty, strengthens its core norms and principles and underscores the delegitimisation of nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence.

Deputy Minister Botes stressed that: “For a majority of non-nuclear armed states, especially African states, the risks of the use of nuclear weapons and the scale of the humanitarian consequences that would follow, make nuclear disarmament an urgent priority. South Africa’s own experience has shown that neither the possession nor the pursuit of nuclear weapons can enhance international peace and security”.

According to Deputy Minister Botes, the continued retention of nuclear weapons based on the perceived security interests of some states came at the expense of the rest of humanity.

He said South Africa’s commitment to disarmament was based on the belief that international peace and security could not be divorced from development.

“South Africa continues to play a leading role in organising the implementation of the treaty and calls upon African states to sign and ratify the TPNW at the earliest possible opportunity and thus reassert Africa’s leadership in nuclear disarmament and contributing to international peace and security,” he added.

The Executive Director of ICAN, Beatrice Fihn, said: “By coming to Pretoria for this meeting, the states here are reinforcing their commitment to a world without nuclear weapons and providing needed leadership on nuclear disarmament at a time when, for the first time in many years, we are faced with the very real and deeply concerning the possibility of a nuclear weapon being used in conflict.”

Head of Pretoria Delegation of the ICRC, Jules Amoti, defined nuclear weapons as being one of the biggest threats to humanity.

“Their catastrophic humanitarian consequences for all life on our planet are today well-known, and so are the immense risks their continued existence entails. The complete elimination of nuclear weapons is an urgent humanitarian imperative, and for all those states that are party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it is also a legal duty,” he added.

– Source:



As Chair of BRICS for the year 2023, South Africa hosted the first meeting of its tenure – the BRICS Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas – in Bela Bela, Limpopo, from 1 to 2 February 2023.


Professor Anil Sooklal, Ambassador-at-Large for Asia and BRICS and South Africa’s BRICS Sherpa hosted his counterparts from the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People's Republic of China.

BRICS is a grouping of five major emerging economies ‒ Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa ‒ which together represent about 41% of the world’s population, 26% of the planet’s landmass across four of the continents, 25% of global gross domestic product and 20% of world trade.

South Africa is chairing BRICS under the theme: “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism”. The theme emphasises the continued value of BRICS as a partnership of leading emerging markets and developing countries providing leadership and momentum towards global growth, sustainable development and inclusion of the global South in the world system.

The theme informs South Africa's priorities for 2023, namely developing a partnership towards an equitable Just Transition; transforming education and skills development for the future; unlocking opportunities through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement; strengthening post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and the attainment of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development; and strengthening multilateralism, including working towards real reform of global governance institutions and promoting the meaningful participation of women in peace processes.

Senior government officials from South Africa and the South African chapters of the BRICS Business Council, BRICS Women's Business Alliance and the BRICS Think Tanks Council used the first BRICS Sherpa and Sous-Sherpa meeting to introduce South Africa's priorities and expectations as Chair of BRICS for 2023 to our BRICS partners.

Addressing the welcome dinner on 31 January, Zane Dangor, Director-General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, said: “International cooperation and multilateralism are currently confronted with divisive geopolitics, unprecedent challenges such as climate change, slow post-pandemic economic recovery and deepening poverty.

“In this uncertain and unequal global governance system, BRICS is the critical voice of the global South and a leader in shaping an emerging international order that is fairer, just, inclusive and representative.

“And on the ground, BRICS has made enormous strides in forging a practical mutually beneficial partnership, as seen by our growing BRICS sectoral cooperation.

“This meeting will set the trend for South Africa’s Chairship. The in-depth discussions in the spirit of solidarity, respect and mutually beneficial cooperation will lay the foundation towards the successful hosting of the 15th BRICS Summit later in the year.

“In this regard, we rely on the efforts of our Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas to translate our vision and commitments into practical cooperation.”




The South African Government wishes to express its condolences to the Government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran following the large-scale destruction caused as well as the loss of lives and the high number of injured persons during the recent earthquake in the city of Khoy, in northwest Iran on 28 January 2023.


The South African Government and its people stand in solidarity with those affected and wish to commend the emergency personnel for their swift and tireless intervention regarding rescue and relief operations.

“The thoughts of the South African people are with the people of Islamic Republic of Iran during this catastrophe, and we wish all those injured a speedy recovery.”


It is critical for South Africa to continue to learn from the extensive experience and expertise that the European Union (EU) has in several areas and economic activities, says Finance Minister, Enoch Godongwana.


This was especially the case in the areas such as vocational education and training.

This was reiterated by the Minister during a meeting with the EU Commissioner for International Partnership, Jutta Urpilainen, who he met in Pretoria on Thursday, 26 January 2023.

The meeting, said the Ministry in a statement, was to discuss the EU’s development partnership with the country, as well as other areas of cooperation and mutual benefit to South Africa.

Commissioner Urpilainen was accompanied by a high-level EU delegation.

Her visit included the ceremonial signing of a number of partnerships, most notably the South Africa-EU Multi-Annual Indicative Programme ‒ the centrepiece of the strategic relationship between the country and the union, and an integral instrument in the EU’s support for South Africa’s development priorities.

“The EU as a bloc is one of South Africa’s largest trading partners and a significant source of foreign direct investment, with a number of EU-based companies involved in a wide range of economic and job-creating activities in South Africa,” said the Ministry.

Minister Godongwana in the meeting acknowledged the positive Strategic Partnership, which stretches over two decades, which the country had built with the EU, and thanked Commissioner Urpilainen for her consistent interest in the socio-economic challenges faced by South Africa, and for the willingness to support the Government’s measures to address them.

“It is critical for us to continue to learn from the extensive experience and expertise that the EU has in a number of areas and economic activities, especially in such things as vocational education and training,” said Minister Godongwana.

“Investing in and ramping up the capacity of vocational and artisan training facilities will go a long way to address the unacceptably high levels of unemployment in our country. Producing a pipeline of skilled and knowledgeable technicians and engineers can contribute to addressing the energy crisis and empower our working-age population with the skills and know-how to take advantage of the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Minister Godongwana acknowledged the EU’s financial support for South Africa’s Just Energy Transition (JET), via the International Partners Group of developed economies that in 2021 pledged US$8.5 billion to the country.

He, however, raised the concern that the JET partnership commitments have largely taken the form of concessional loans and other commercial arrangements. Minister Godongwana stressed the need for the financial support to include a much larger grant-funding component.

– Source:



The Department of Employment and Labour is gearing itself to host the first in a series of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) countries’ Employment Working Group (EWG) meetings planned in 2023. 
Simultaneously, the BRICS Research Network Forum will also meet. The Department of Employment and Labour will coordinate the labour and employment stream during the South African Chairship in 2023.

This stream entails arranging the BRICS EWG meetings, the BRICS Network of Labour Research Institutes meeting and the Ninth BRICS Labour and Employment Minister’s Meeting (LEMM) in 2023.

Department of Employment and Labour’s Acting Deputy Director-General of the Labour Policy and Industrial Relations Branch, Sipho Ndebele, said the apex of discussions would be social security issues. Ndebele said the first meeting would be held from 21 to 24 February 2023 and this would be followed by other meetings in May, June and September.

“This series of EWG and Research Network Forum meetings will culminate with the EWG LEMM in September 2023. We envisage the two meetings to discuss priority issues in the technical meetings in preparations for the LEMM,” he said.

Ndebele said South African Chairship of BRICS provided it with an opportunity to promote regional and global issues on the back of skyrocketing unemployment and health fallout created by the pandemic.

The Republic of South Africa on 1 January 2023 formally assumed the Chairship of BRICS for a period of one year after succeeding the People's Republic of China. It will be the third time South Africa takes the reigns of Chair of BRICS.

BRICS is an economic bloc that includes: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Formed on 16 June 2009, South Africa joined BRICS in December 2010. 



The fight against prostate cancer, which is one of the top five cancers reported among men in South Africa, is being given another boost through the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility at Steve Biko Academic Hospital (SBAH) in Pretoria.
Health Deputy Minister, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, together with the European Union (EU) Commissioner of Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, on Thursday, 26 January 2023, visited the facility, which is still under construction.

The setting up of the crucial unit emanated from collaboration between the University of Pretoria (UP) and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in 2017 to offer services for prostate cancer to South African patients.

More than 300 South African prostate cancer patients have been successfully treated with Targeted Alpha Therapy (TAT) through this collaboration.

According to the European Commission, TAT is based on the coupling of alpha particle-emitting radioisotopes to tumour-selective carrier molecules, such as monoclonal antibodies or peptides. These molecules can selectively target tumour cells, even if they are spread throughout the body.

“The treatment is offered to prostate cancer patients through compassionate use and improved protocols for patient treatment,” the Health Department said.

According to UP, other joint studies will lead to the development of TAT for other types of cancer, with a particular focus on breast cancer.

The Deputy Minister has described the move as a signal to an important era of collaboration with their EU counterparts to enhance healthcare research, as both parties jointly endeavour to “leave no one behind”.

Deputy Minister Dhlomo thanked the SBAH team for the commendable research they have undertaken over the past years in the area of nuclear medicine.

“I agree that the concept of nuclear medicine is not spoken about. However, nuclear medicine has played a critical role in the health sector over many years in the diagnosis of many ailments.

“It is quite encouraging to see how this practice has evolved over the years to play an increasingly important role in therapeutics as well. I am informed that there is a new area of radiation medicine called theranostics, which engulfs both diagnostic and therapeutic use of nuclear medicine,” Deputy Minister Dhlomo said.

South Africa, the Deputy Minister said, continued to experience a quadruple burden of disease, including a high burden of HIV and AIDS, TB and an increasing burden of non-communicable diseases, of which cancer is a high priority.

“Nuclear medicine plays a critical role in enhancing our response to our complex burden of disease,” Deputy Minister Dhlomo said.

He said cancer had become one of the leading causes of death and suffering among communities in low- and middle-income countries.

Commending the development of the facility, Kyriakides said Europe and South Africa had a strong partnership through the development, manufacturing and access to COVID-19 vaccines in Africa and worldwide.

Both parties also discussed ways to extend cooperation in other key areas of health.

– Source:



South Africa has been admitted as a member of the International Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) following a competitive application process.
The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) will serve as joint institutional members.

The HFSP promotes international collaboration in basic research focussed on elucidating the sophisticated and complex mechanisms of living organisms.

South Africa is the 16th country to be admitted, and the only country from Africa.

According to the NRF, this membership underscores the value South Africa places on supporting fundamental research in understanding complex mechanisms in the life sciences to advance industry, health, and human well-being.

“As a member, South Africa will work closely with other HFSP members to support innovative basic research; apply novel and interdisciplinary approaches; and enable scientific exchanges across national and disciplinary boundaries to address fundamental biological problems.”

Furthermore, membership is said to significantly contribute to the research and education programmes supported by the NRF and the SAMRC.

Through joint programming with partners, South Africa will increase its vital scientific and innovation skills development through unique research and training programmes in basic sciences, with specific emphasis on generating outcomes that have a direct socio-economic impact and thereby benefit to society. 

“This membership will be instrumental in ensuring that Africa becomes globally competitive in frontiers research relating to life sciences, thereby promoting innovation and a transformed research system,” stated NRF CEO, Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo.

SAMRC President and CEO, Professor Glenda Gray, added: “This partnership will have a fundamental impact on building South Africa’s capacity and global influence in life sciences for the greater benefit of society”.

The HFSP was founded in 1989 to advance international research and training at the frontier of the life sciences.

The HFSP funds high-risk, interdisciplinary, intercontinental, collaborative, fundamental life science research, with a philosophy of “science without borders”.

It encourages innovative and novel thinking to support transformative and paradigm-shifting research.

With its collaborative research grants and postdoctoral fellowships, the programme has issued over 4 500 awards involving more than 7 500 scientists from all over the world.

Since its inception, 28 HFSP awardees and four Nakasone Award winners have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.

– Source:




iPhone, iPad and Android users with the Google Translate app installed can now translate languages, including Xhosa, Igbo, Hausa and Chichewa, without an Internet connection.


Google recently announced the expansion of its offline translation by adding 33 new languages, including nine African languages, to the Google Translate app on iOS and Android.

This now brings the total number of African languages supported by Google to 12.

Arabic, Swahili and Afrikaans have been supported by the Google Translate offline translation tool since 2018 when Google launched the functionality. Nigerian languages Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba and southern African languages, Sesotho, Xhosa, Zulu and Shona, are part of the newly added languages. Additionally, Kinyarwanda, spoken in Rwanda and other parts of East Africa and Chichewa, which is common in Malawi and Zambia, will cater for a wider audience across the continent.

According to Google, the offline feature “allows users to download the languages of interest and translate text when an Internet connection is unavailable”.

The additional languages, therefore, seek to expand the usage of the feature, with the overall target being to boost multicultural inclusivity and appeal to a broader audience. The offering will also boost global recognition and acceptance of African languages and potentially increase their use.

According to Ofer Tirosh, a language and machine translation expert, Yoruba and Igbo are already spoken by close to 50 million people.

In a 2021 research article, African Languages: A detailed look into the languages of Africa, Tirosh documents the place of translation in globalising business.

“Globalisation is key in order to obtain business success … translation serves to eliminate language barriers that limit globalisation,” he stated

Tirosh added that adding additional African languages to offline functionality “adds value to an already thriving online translation space for African languages”.

Besides Google Translate, Google has continued integrating African languages in its innovations and technology upgrades. The Gboard, Google’s keyboard, can support personalised commands and accents in up to 200 African languages.

Apart from Google, Meta platforms have also endeavoured to provide features that offer African languages-specific commands and results. For instance, Meta’s No Language Left Behind, NLLB, an open-source AI functionality, can translate Internet content to about 60 African languages on Meta platforms. Meta’s Instagram Lite also supports Swahili, Amharic and Oromo, some of the most widely-spoken languages in East Africa.

Africa is linguistically diverse, with an estimated 1 500 to 2 500 living languages and major as well as minor languages. Hausa, for instance, a major African language, is spoken by around 75 million people, while over 25 million people speak Hausa as a first language.

– Source:



South Africa will send 12 cheetahs to India in February to help rebuild populations of the cat species, which have become extinct in the Asian country.
The two countries entered into an agreement, which will see South Africa send 12 cheetahs to India every year for the next eight to 10 years, according to a statement by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE).

This builds on previous transfers of cheetahs to India after they had been locally extinct for 70 years due to overhunting and habitat loss.

"The cats will join eight cheetahs introduced to India from Namibia during 2022," the DFFE said.

The reintroduction of cheetahs to India will not only have ecological benefits but will also improve the economies of local communities.

The initiative was launched following a request from India's government.

The programme is coordinated by the DFFE, the South African National Biodiversity Institute, South African National Parks, the Cheetah Range Expansion Project and the Endangered Wildlife Trust in South Africa. These South African organisations are collaborating with the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Wildlife Institute of India.

The countries will also exchange best practices on carnivore conservation, including the transfer of technology, training professionals and shared custodianship of the cheetahs as they are moved.

The terms of the agreement will be reviewed every five years, the DFFE said.

– Source:




There is an all-new kind of traveller, the kind who travels for the food; and Cape Town just earned a spot on the Best Food Destination list for 2023.


Tripadvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards are back for the 2023 awards and Cape Town has earned the 16th spot on the “Best Food Destination” in the world list.

The awards take place each year, and winners are decided by travellers who have reviewed the places visited. The awards cover things to do, hotels, beaches, destinations and restaurants on a global scale as well as regionally.

It is no surprise that Cape Town has earned this post. The Mother City has restaurants on every corner. Let us not forget the hidden gems of the entire Western Cape, which can be found up the coast, inland towards the Klein Karoo and surrounded by the stretching vineyards of the region.

Cape Town has a melting pot of cuisines available to the public ‒ the most historic being the Cape Malay delicacies and spices. These are located in the city centre, along the brightly coloured houses that draw in millions of tourists each year.

– Source:



Placing a bright Hollywood spotlight on the awareness and integration of visually impaired people, local youth from Gqeberha were featured in an international film, which premiered worldwide on Thursday, 26 January 2023.
The Light in my Eyes was filmed and produced by an international team and shares the experiences of youth with visual impairment from Egypt, Ghana, the Netherlands, the West Bank of the Palestinian Territories, Uganda, Botswana and South Africa. The premiere of the film was simultaneously viewed in all seven countries, including the city of Gqeberha, where the red carpet was rolled out at Khanyisa School in KwaDwesi, for the stars of the show.

Khanyisa School 2022 matriculant Onenkosi Ndongeni, 20, said while being interviewed for the film was overwhelming initially, it was also amazing and the experience of a lifetime.

“I mean, who wouldn’t want to be in a film? People should stop feeling sorry for us, and just support and accept us. My dream is to one day be the best clinical psychologist,” said Ndongeni.

The Light in my Eyes was directed by Mohanad Diab from Egypt and local filmmaker, Rafieka Davis, was responsible for the South African film work.

“I learnt so much on this project about visually impaired people and their role in the community at large. I made a friend for life in Onenkosi and it was an honour to work with all the role-players,” said Davis.

The film was funded by the Netherlands-based organisation, Visio International. Visio International Programme Manager Els de Keijzer said the goal of the film was to portray the opportunities and challenges that children, youth and (young) adults with a visual impairment experience in different countries.

“The message is: Participation is possible! People with a visual impairment especially convey that they want to be seen as everyone else, not as pathetic, but certainly not as a superhero either. They have similar desires, dreams and challenges in life, just like everyone else, with the difference that they have a visual impairment,” said De Keijzer.

Visio International and the filming crew partnered with the non-profit programme, Bona uBuntu, in South Africa. Bona uBuntu is a collaboration between various stakeholders aimed at improving the quality of education and integration of visually impaired people in the Eastern Cape.

– Source:

Gerhard van Niekerk from Vleis Vryf in South Africa, has been officially invited to attend and compete in the Australian Barbecue Championships, held at the prestigious Meatstock Sydney from 5 to 7 May 2023 at the Sydney Showgrounds.
This is Australia’s largest BBQ festival, home to the country’s biggest barbecue competitions, where international teams from around the world compete to find out who does it best!

Gerhard will be flying to Australia to represent South Africa as part of the competition.

Proudly South African, Gerhard told SAPeople he’ll be competing in the “bbq/low and slow-smoking competition, where we’ll be doing all proteins: beef, pork, chicken and lamb”.

Gerhard – who makes his own spices – has started a fundraiser on BackABuddy to get him to Australia. He’s already more than halfway to his target of R35 000. He says: “Any sponsorships or donations would be greatly appreciated since, as you can imagine, for a small business like ours, it’s very difficult to fund the trip in full by ourselves.”

Meatstock Sydney is a two-day event of low and slow “barbecue, live music, barbecue and grilling competitions, butcher wars, demonstrations and a Barbecue Expo”.

Low and slow barbecue is a term used when discussing food cooked over a fairly long period of time at a low temperature, often used in grilling or barbecuing that involves smoking meat. It usually involves cooking over indirect heat like in a smoker or on a grill. By cooking low and slow, it allows the meat to cook fully but avoid burning or drying out. And the smoking adds flavour and depth.

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The “Alexforbes ArchAngel” crew have made history by becoming the first team from their communities to make the crossing and, in doing so, acting as a symbol of hope to all others who face the challenges of inequality, poverty and marginalisation.
In a history-making voyage, the Alexforbes ArchAngel – the first complete crew from the Royal Cape Yacht Club Sailing Academy hailing from marginalised communities – has crossed the finish line of the 50th Cape2Rio yacht race, after a thrilling battle to gain third position.

The dreams of five young South Africans came true on Thursday, 26 January 2023, as their boat, the Alexforbes ArchAngel, arrived in Rio de Janeiro after 24 days and a 3 300 nautical mile ocean crossing from Cape Town to Guanabara Bay.

Skipper Sibusiso Sizatu (30), first mate Daniel Agulhas (29), Renaldo Tshepo Mohale (29), Azile Arosi (22) and Justin Peters (21) departed on 2 January, with the backdrop of the historic Robben Island reminding them of Nelson Mandela’s words, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”.

The final hours of Alexforbes ArchAngel’s race saw the boat neck and neck with their closest competitor, Argonaut, eventually beating them by 23 minutes.

“This is the achievement of our lives. So many years, so many obstacles, yet we kept moving forward. Thank you to my crew, the Royal Cape Yacht Club Academy, our sponsor Alexforbes and our supporters. When we were down at sea, your support drove us. This one is for you,” said Sizatu. “Crossing the meridian was a moment we won’t forget, as well as the last 16 hours, where we were all hands on deck racing for a podium position.”

Born into disadvantaged communities, the crew have broken stereotypes of race and class and demonstrated that it is possible for people from diverse backgrounds to participate in sports such as yachting, previously accessible only to the privileged few.

Sizatu said in the future, he hoped to see an all-female crew from the academy doing a race of similar stature, empowering more women in the sport.

Viresh Maharaj, Alexforbes Executive, said the team had made the country proud.

“Sibu and his crew are an example to all of us that with the right support, determination and grit, dreams can and do come true. Congratulations to our five heroes – you overcame your personal circumstances and defied society’s expectations by going boldly into this race. Wenze kakuhle.”

The Alexforbes ArchAngel crew have made history in the golden anniversary of the iconic race. Sixteen teams lined up at the start, hailing from South Africa, Brazil, India, Italy and the United States of America, with three boats withdrawing during the challenging event. The overall race was won by Atalanta, with Ray of Light in second position.

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Captain Temba Bavuma struck a superb 109 from 102 balls as South Africa chased down a record target in Bloemfontein to beat England by five wickets on Sunday, 29 January 2023, and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in their one-day international series.
Hosts South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl first, but after a slow start England accelerated superbly to post a formidable 342 for seven in their 50 overs.

The home side reached their target with five balls remaining for a record chase at the Mangaung Oval, smashing the previous best mark of 274 by South Africa against Australia in 2020.

They finished on 347-5. Only India has chased more runs to beat England in ODI cricket when they reached 356-7 in Pune in 2016.

“Playing England is always tough, your disciplines are always being tested,” Bavuma said at the post-match presentation.

“Chasing 340 like that will give us a lot of confidence. The wicket in Bloemfontein is nice and suits the way we want to play. I was glad to remind myself how to count to 100!”

The visitors’ total on Sunday was boosted by a magnificent unbeaten 94 in 82 balls from captain Jos Buttler and an excellent 80 from 75 deliveries from Harry Brook, who made a duck on his ODI debut in the opening match of the series.

Moeen Ali chipped in with a fluent 51 from 45 balls as England smashed 181 from the last 20 overs of their innings.

South Africa was always up with the rate in their reply, which was anchored by Bavuma, who scored a timely third ODI century having come in for recent criticism following poor white ball form.

David Miller took the team home with a masterful 58 from 37 balls and Aiden Markram chipped in with a 49 at better than a run a ball.

“To post 342 was a fantastic effort from the guys, but it was a great chase,” Buttler said. “Credit to South Africa, Temba led from the front.

“We have come to win games of cricket, but there is also a bigger picture as well in terms of building towards the World Cup.”

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The SA Hockey Men’s team that went to represent South Africa at the FIH World Cup, has earned 11th place in the competition. Hard work and dedication saw the men play their hearts out in every match.
The team and the support staff behind them are happy with the achievement. They hope to build on the results of this world cup and come back even stronger for the next one.

It was this hard work and dedication that earned Mustapha Cassiem the Junior Player of the Tournament Award during the closing ceremony of the event.

“Congratulations to Mustapha Cassiem who received the Junior Player of the Tournament Award at the FIH Hockey World Cup!
Another proudly South African moment on the world stage!” – SA Hockey Men

Bili Ntuli was also honoured during the tournament, earning the Player of the Match when South Africa played against Malaysia.

The South African Hockey Association (SAHA) gave thanks to Hockey India for hosting such an incredible tournament and they thanked the fans both at the venues and from South Africa, for all the support shown to the team.

“As we close the FIH World Cup story for another 4 years, we are filled with Gratitude. Thank you to Hockey India for an incredible tournament and raising hockey to another level! Especially thank you to the fans, whether at the stadiums or from all over the world, you inspire us to reach greater heights!” – SAHA

South Africa is playing host to the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup in February, a first for the African continent.

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Brad Binder, along with his supportive team at Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, is getting ready for the 2023 MotoGP season; this is the new kit for the year.


For the fourth year in a row, Binder will be one of the KTM RC16 riders in the company’s MotoGP tilt for success. The 27-year-old South African scored KTM’s maiden MotoGP victory in the Czech Republic in 2020 and was KTM’s highest-ranked rider in 2022 with sixth position in the standings and podium results at both the opening Grand Prix of the year (Qatar) and the closer (Valencia).

Now nine seasons in the Red Bull KTM family, Binder is recognised as one of the most determined and efficient racers on the MotoGP grid. When asked how he feels about getting back on the grid this season, he says he is ready to go!

“It has felt like a long off-season already so I’m more than excited to get back to the track and to get started again. My fourth year in the class, and I feel like our best chance so far to really achieve something will be in 2023. We’re ready to go, so let’s get to Sepang and see what those first days bring us.” – Brad Binder

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing is at the top of the KTM road racing pyramid and a structure that sees participation and presence in each world championship division and more.

At the peak of the sport, KTM has celebrated seven MotoGP wins while logging 18 podium appearances and three Pole Positions since 2017. KTM RC4 equipment has registered five titles and 80 victories in the Moto3™ category since the inception of the division in 2012 and the technical base of the bike has been responsible for emerging talent progression in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, the Northern Talent Cup and the Austrian Junior Cup.

The 2023 MotoGP campaign begins on 24-25-26 March at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal after two pre-season tests from 10-11-12 February (Malaysia) and 11-12 March (Portugal).

"For sure, finishing second in the Teams Championship last year is something to take, and to have a starting point for the future. It’s important because it means the team works well together and the atmosphere is great. There will be 21 GPs this year and it will be important to be competitive and in the top five every single time and then we also have the Sprint races.

“We are a factory team and the only goal we can have, the only target, is the title. It is easy to say and not easy to get! But this is the main goal. Everything has to be efficient, especially now when we have less time to make the right setting in different conditions. It is a basic thing that you need to do; make a team that is closely connected and efficient to face those daily challenges. Our riders – Jack and Brad – are a special combo and the team will be very strong because there are two special personalities.” – Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Team Manager

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