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President Cyril Ramaphosa will participate in the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) from 18 to 19 February 2023 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Africa’s political leadership will convene under the economically focussed theme, “Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement”, in a year which marks the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the continuing 20th anniversary of the creation of the African Union in 2002 as successor to the OAU

The President will also chair the AU Peace and Security Summit on the situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The President indicated that the focus would be on collaboration on sustainable development, the just energy transition, industrialisation and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

South Africa, together with its neighbours in the Southern African Customs Union, will soon finalise its industrial offer on the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Once fully operationalised, the Continental Free Trade Area will provide an unprecedented opportunity to deepen African economic integration, grow national economies, and open up new frontiers and markets for South African companies.



President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday, 9 February 2023, that South Africa would continue to expand trade and investment opportunities with global trade partners to attract investment and financing.
According to the President, who was delivering his State of the Nation Address, this would be done through participation in multilateral fora such as the G20, or Group of Twenty, which will be hosted in the country in 2025.

The G20 comprises 19 countries and the European Union, with members representing about 85% of the global gross domestic product and over 75% of global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.

“This year, South Africa assumes the Chairship of the BRICS group of countries,” the President said in his address.  

In addition, South Africa, together with its neighbours in the Southern African Customs Union, will soon finalise the industrial offer on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The AfCFTA, which was conceptualised in 2012 to enhance trade integration on the continent, aims to achieve sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development, gender equality and structural transformations within member states.

The goal is to also enhance competitiveness within Africa and in the global market and see industrial development through diversification and regional value chain development, agricultural development and food security and resolve challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships.

“Just as we are committed to improving the fortunes of our countrymen and women and to advancing shared prosperity for all, so too is our commitment to achieving a better Africa and a better world.”

In addition, the President said he was “greatly concerned” at the recent escalation of tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians.

He called for an end to hostilities and a resumption of the stalled peace process.

President Ramaphosa also used the opportunity to express the country’s deepest condolences to the Government and people of Türkiye, following the devastating earthquake, which has claimed thousands of lives.

“As a country, we are immensely proud of the efforts of Gift of the Givers to help those affected by the earthquake.”

Also, he said South Africa remained “deeply concerned” about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and urged all parties to cease hostilities and seek a peaceful solution through dialogue.

“South Africa’s fortunes are inextricably linked to those of our continent and the Southern African Development Community in particular,” he explained.

“For the sake of our own stability and prosperity, we are duty-bound to pursue interventions that will bring peace, stability and development in our continent.”

– Source:



The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, hosted Mr Ramtane Lamamra, Minister of Foreign Affairs and National Community Abroad of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, on a Working Visit in Pretoria on Monday, 13 February 2023.
The visit was aimed at deepening and strengthening the already existing good political relations dating back from the years of the struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

The two ministers discussed bilateral issues, including outcomes of the Senior Officials Meeting between South Africa and Algeria, held in Pretoria from 16 to 19 January 2023, and preparations for the Seventh Session of the Binational Commission to be held in Algeria.

The two ministers further exchanged views on regional, continental and multilateral issues of mutual interest.

The relations between South Africa and Algeria culminated in the creation of a structured framework of cooperation in the form of a Ministerial Joint Bi-National Commission of Cooperation (JBC) in 1998.

The JBC was later upgraded to a Bi-National Commission at Presidential level in 2000, signifying the strategic quality of the bilateral relations between the two countries.



The community of Klapmuts, in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, on Friday, 10 February 2023, hosted an event to thank the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, for assisting them to get a new school.
Klapmuts Primary and Secondary School was built in 2022.

Minister Pandor intervened, through her Parliamentary Constituency Office in Stellenbosch, when she was approached by the Klapmuts Community to help them get a school for mainly isiXhosa-speaking learners who could not be accommodated in an only Afrikaans-medium-school.



Eleven South African companies that operate in the defence sector will participate in the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.


The participation of the companies in IDEX has been made possible by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme to showcase their products at the 16th biennial event.

The companies will participate in the event from 20 to 24 February 2023.

The aim of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.

IDEX is the only international trade show in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region showcasing the latest technologies in land, sea and air sectors of defence.

The 15th edition of IDEX, held in 2021, brought together more than 62 000 visitors and 900 exhibitors from almost 60 countries.

According to the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Nomalungelo Gina, IDEX provides a platform and an opportunity to establish and strengthen relationships with government departments and businesses in the Middle East.

“The South African aerospace and defence companies that we will be assisting to participate in IDEX 2023 manufacture a range of products related to the defence industry.

“This is part of our efforts to support the recovery and further development of the defence industry in South Africa through assisting companies to access international markets. The show will provide the South African companies with an opportunity to sign new deals, explore new partnerships and stay up-to-date with the latest market trends,” Deputy Minister Gina said on Monday, 13 February 2023.

The companies will also be in a good location to attract potential buyers, distributors and agents. They will also be able to gather trade leads, as well as trade and investment market intelligence to increase their knowledge of the UAE market.

“The Middle East has increased its military spending over the past decade, making it a strategic and important market for South Africa’s defence products and services.

“The UAE is key to South Africa’s export strategy in the region, representing 78.5% (R33.9 billion) of total exports to the Middle East region in 2021. Our bilateral trade increased by 38.11% to reach R61.71 billion in 2021, from R44.68 billion in 2020.

“The market access support provided to the 11 firms and the greater industry will contribute to increasing the market share in a high-growth market such as the UAE,” explains Deputy Minister Gina.

She notes that IDEX 2023 provides an important platform to highlight South Africa’s strong manufacturing and technological capability of the defence industry, while increasing value-added exports to the UAE, Middle East region and globally.

The dtic seeks to support local South African manufacturers through participation in the event, and to contribute to a competitive export industry, which is a key focus area of the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

Deputy Minister Gina is hopeful that the participation of local companies in IDEX 2023 will result in an increase of South Africa’s exports to the UAE and create an awareness of South Africa as a strategic trade partner and competitive investment destination.

– Source:




A business delegation comprising 16 South African agro-processing companies, including the South African Fruit and Vegetables Canners Export Council, will showcase their products at the Gulfood exhibition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from 20 to 24 February 2023.


The companies’ participation has been funded by the Department of Trade Industry and Competition (the dtic) through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme.

The scheme aims to develop export markets for South African products and services, and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.

Gulfood is regarded as the largest food and beverage trade exhibition in the Middle East. It attracts many participants from the Middle East and the world at large.

Gulfood 2023 will showcase food and beverage products from around the world. South Africa will participate in the Fine Food Pavilion, which will be showcasing agro-processing products and services, as well as in the beverages hall.

The Middle East continues to experience a population growth, translating into increasing opportunities for the agro-processing sector, with a market demand of US$3 trillion.

According to the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Fikile Majola, South Africa’s participation is expected to positively influence export sales from the South African agri-food industry, food retail and value-added agro-processing products.

In 2020, export sales generated by the South African companies at Gulfood were worth more than R221 million.

“The show is expected to expose South African companies to available opportunities in the UAE, as well as creating awareness for South African products in the Middle East in general.

“South Africa’s participation in the Dubai Expo 2020, which was part of our efforts to revive the economy and create opportunities for inclusive growth, paved a way for more trade opportunities like the Gulfood, which offers a follow-through opportunity for South African firms,” Deputy Minister Majola said.

The UAE remains the main destination for South African goods, as reflected by consistent increase of exports.

Over the past 10 years, South Africa’s exports to the UAE grew by 20.87% to reach R33.73 billion in 2021, from R8.50 billion in 2012.

– Source:



South African Chemical Engineering student Leane Naude has earned a Top 3 spot in the Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Awards programme.
Despite women making up around half the world’s population, female researchers constitute 33% of researchers globally and only 35% of all students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Technology (STEM)-related fields of study are women. This has not stopped 25-year-old South African Leane Naude who clinched third place in the 2022-2023 Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Awards programme, a global initiative driven by the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA).

The programme, which recognises young researchers in the field of wood science, harvested wood products and forest products innovation, entailed various country-hosted rounds and an international round.

During the local round, organised by the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA), Naude, a Master’s in Science (Chemical Engineering) student at North-West University, submitted her project which outlines how she has developed a more cost-effective purification method of lignosulphonate, an abundant and versatile alternative to fossil-based fuels. Her work was put forward to the international round.

Jane Molony, executive director at PAMSA says: “With International Day of Women and Girls in Science marked annually on 11 February, it is important that we help shine a spotlight on future leaders in the field and it’s fantastic to see three young women as the top three this year.”

She adds: “While there is certainly a place for everyone in our sector, it is critical to show young women and girls that they can achieve incredible things if they pursue careers in STEM.”

Naude’s research on the application of lignosulphonate in high-end products contributes towards the circular economy and improves the overall sustainability of the pulp and paper industry. Lignosulphonate is often used as a dust suppressant, among many other uses.

“I am honoured to have been selected and to put South Africa on the map in the field of wood science and STEM,” says Naude. “My project, which has resulted in a provisional international patent application, presents another way of purifying a low-value pulp and paper by-product  into a high-value product, thereby supporting a circular bio-economy as well as greener alternatives to carbon-intensive materials. By making extraction processes cost-effective, we can find more ways to put by-products such as lignin to better and greener use.”

Naude completed her Master’s in Engineering under PAMSA’s bursary and research programme, which supports excellence in chemical engineering by sponsoring Bachelor of Science students to do their Masters’ in Engineering. She is currently working as an Engineer-in-Training at the Sappi Technology Centre in Pretoria.

Naude will be heading to Amsterdam in The Netherlands in May to present her research project to an international group of forest sector CEOs at ICFPA’s Global CEO Roundtable event.

– Source:



Aid organisation Gift of the Givers rescued an 80-year-old woman buried under rubble inTürkiyefollowing a massive earthquake that hit 10 cities in the country a week ago.
The woman was found alive and rescued by the team, which also included the K9 unit and the Omani search-and-rescue unit.

Rescuers used heavy machinery to dig through collapsed buildings for more than two hours.

Head of the K9 team, Brigadier Vimla Moodley, told News24 the team, along with five sniffer dogs, was deployed.

"One team had two dogs, and the other one had three."

"It was amazing when the dogs reacted for us and found someone alive because our mission here was to find live victims rather than dead bodies. This is an unfortunate situation and devastating. Buildings with 900 occupants fell, and all we can see are layers of each floor."

Brigadier Moodley said desperate families, who were looking for loved ones, reached out to the team for assistance ‒ and, often, all they could find were deceased members.

"Some families want closure ... we assist by using the dogs and, that way, the bodies are removed and handed over to families," she said.

Dr Qasim Bhorat, one of the team's rescuers, told News24 the woman was dehydrated although she was "relatively well".

He said the team had extracted several bodies of deceased people before the K9 dogs directed them to the woman.

Dr Bhorat said the experience of rescuing people under the rubble was emotional.

"It is a bit disheartening seeing disfigured bodies, smashed and in a bad state. Finding someone alive has given us a shot in the arm, while that window is still there," he said.

The organisation's founder and chairperson, Imtiaz Sooliman, said: "Congratulations to the team for pulling out someone alive several days after the earthquake. When we work together, as a call for humanity, for human beings, there is always success. We are hopeful that more live persons will be [found] in the building."

More than 35 000 people have died in Turkey and Syria after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country last week.

The Turkish Ambassador in South Africa, Aysegül Kandas, told News24 the earthquake was "the biggest disaster of the century", according to her government.

The disaster covers 10 cities with a population of about 15 million. The number of people directly affected is 3.5 million. Hospitals and cities are demolished, and cities are erased from the map.

Ambassador Kandas said the recent Gift of the Givers rescue had restored hope that more live bodies might be found.

The country had received assistance from over 10 000 medics and rescuers from 100 countries.

Ambassador Kandas said the country's needs list was constantly changing.

Among items needed are mobile toilets, sleeping bags, generators, gas heaters and winter tents, among others.

– Source:



The Karoo Donkey Sanctuary is celebrating after receiving international accreditation from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.
The Karoo Donkey Sanctuary is situated on a plot of about 18 hectares, in the shadows of the Swartberg Mountains. It is just two kilometres outside Prince Albert. Jonno Sherwin and his partner, Dr Johan Hugo, bought the land in 2012 after falling in love with the area during a 2008 visit.

They put a few animals on the land, including some ostriches and Nguni cows. Jonno then started rescuing donkeys from appalling situations. The donkeys came from the Northern and Western Cape. Many were also rescued from the horrific skin trade. To round the sanctuary out, pigs and chickens were added. Jonno and Johan name every rescue so each can be identified.

Today, they have saved hundreds of donkeys. Now, the sanctuary is celebrating a massive achievement. They have been awarded the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) Verification. This is an international accreditation for sanctuaries.

“After 12 months of due diligence focussed around rigorous peer-reviewed animal care standards covering the areas of ethics, governance, best care practices, facility adherence, staffing, financial management, integrity, record keeping, management team aptitude, education, outreach, stewardship, professionalism, leadership, integrity, excellence, safety policies, protocols, and training to name a few – that culminated in an intensive site visit back in November last year – we did it folks!!!”

“This is a massive achievement for me personally in my crusade as an animal rights activist as well as for the KDS management team. We could not have asked for a higher global accolade of recognition of our service to all the magical animals in our care as well as all the precious souls out there whose lives we have yet to touch.

“GFAS’ mission is to accredit and recognise true sanctuaries and rescue centres, support them to achieve the highest standards of excellence, promote collaboration and raise awareness of their work.

“Our GFAS Verified status provides a clear and trusted means for the public and donors to recognise the Karoo Donkey Sanctuary as an exceptional animal rescue organisation. It ratifies our mission, our work and our philosophy that all vulnerable and persecuted animals require true sanctuary and we could not be more proud!”

– Source:



South African singer and TikToker Tyla Seethal, better known by her mononym Tyla, is joining American singer-songwriter Chris Brown on the European leg of his tour this month.
Tyla joins the Under the Influence hitmaker as his tour moved to London on Tuesday, 14 February, at the O2 Arena for four performances. The tour wraps up on 26 March in Paris, France.

In 2021, Tyla signed with American label Epic Records through a venture with Johannesburg/New York-based Fax Records, co-managed by We Make Music and Africa Creative Agency. She said about the signing: "I had no plan B, so this is something I invested my everything into, and I could not be more satisfied."

She added: "To be welcomed into the Epic family like this, it’s such an honour; I’m so grateful for everyone who believes in me. My team at FAX and I worked so hard to get here, and I’m super excited to keep growing with them and take it to the top."

Ahead of joining the musician on his tour, Tyla told Rolling Stone at the Black Music Collective ceremony, she is "excited" about the African music scene.

"I'm so excited for African music. I'm from South Africa, so amapiano and afrobeats are really booming right now, and I just want it to go even higher from here," she said.

Per The Native Mag, Tyla started as a Mining Engineering student but soon realised her passion for music and committed to it full-time. However, with only her debut single Getting Late to her name, her plans hit a snag with the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a press statement by Sony Music, Getting Late, featuring Kolldrink, has since amassed more than 5.5 worldwide views. Tyla followed up the single with a collaboration with DJ Lag titled Overdue, which was soundtracked on Netflix's Blood & Water.

– Source:



Ockie Strydom fired a flawless nine-under-par 63 in his final round to burst through the field and win the Singapore Classic on the DP World Tour on Sunday, 12 February 2023.
South African Strydom started the day four shots off the pace set by Jeunghun Wang and Alejandro del Rey, but while they fell away, Finland's Sami Valimaki looked most likely to take advantage.

He was three clear of the field after sinking a 30-footer for birdie at the 10th, but Strydom reeled him in, adding four back-nine birdies to his five on the way out.

The pick of the bunch was on the par-five 18th when he left himself in a bit of trouble through the green with his second, but he held his nerve and chipped his shot stone dead to tap-in for birdie and set the target at 19 under.

That left Valimaki heading up the last needing an eagle to win or birdie to force a play-off but he left his second shot short and a par was the best he could manage.

Looking back on his touch of magic at the last, Strydom said: "It's a funny one. I said to my caddie that it's either got to go up in the air and if you hit a bit behind it, it's wet.

"I took a wedge, it came out absolutely phenomenal. I didn’t think it was coming out that good. But it did and ended up where it was."

Strydom's maiden win, at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, was back in December and helped him get over the line here.

He said: "It's a mindset that's changing at the moment. When you've been in that situation before and you know you can do it again."

– Source:



Proteas Women’s team super stars Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail were the only South Africans to be picked up in first round of the inaugural Women’s Indian Premier League auction on Monday, 13 February 2023.
Kapp was involved in a bidding war between the Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gujarat Giants and UPZ Warriors, before the Capitals forked out a hefty sum of INR 1.5 crore: the equivalent of R3.2 million.

Ismail, meanwhile, was also in high demand as she fetched INR 1 crore  ̶  close to R2.1 million  ̶  with the UPZ Warriors securing the fast bowler’s services.

Proteas captain Sune Luus and fellow ICC T20 Women’s World Cup squad members Laura Wolvaardt, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Ayabonga Khaka, Nadine de Klerk and Tazmin Brits were not picked up in the first draft.

Wolvaardt’s omission is a major surprise as she is one of the classiest batters in women’s cricket, having been selected in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup XI in Australia four years ago while continuing her success in Australia’s WBBL and The Hundred in England.

Left-arm Mlaba is also currently the World’s No 2 ranked T20 bowler in the world and would have expected to receive a bid.

Indian opener Smriti Mandhana fetched the highest price of US$415 000 (approximately R7.5 million), while Australian all-rounder Ashleigh Gardener was the most expensive overseas player bought for US$390 000 (R6.95 million).

– Source:



South Africa played host to the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup in February, a first for the African continent. The exciting event saw Mustapha Cassiem named the “Junior Player of the Tournament”.
This is the second title Cassiem has earned; he was also named junior player of the tournament for the FIH World Cup, which took place in India in January 2023.

The South African Hockey Association celebrated the win for Cassiem by sharing his amazing achievement on social media.

“Congratulations to Mustapha Cassiem. Mustapha has now won both the FIH Hockey World Cup and FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup Junior Player of the Tournament in the space of a month. Mustapha was part of the men’s side that reached an all-time high finish of 6th scoring 14 goals in the process.

“Mustapha, your country is proud of you!” – South African Hockey Association

South Africans have been sending in words of congratulations to Cassiem for his success during this tournament.

South Africa came eighth in this tournament, achieving what they had hoped from the last World Cup, which was an improvement on coming 11th.

– Source:

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