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President Cyril Ramaphosa attended the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit Plus and Force Intervention Brigade Troop Contributing Countries in Namibia on Monday, 8 May 2023.

The President participated in the summit in his capacity as outgoing Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

The Extraordinary Summit Plus received an update on the security situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and considered a report of the SADC Field Assessment Mission to Eastern DRC on the deployment of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) Force Intervention Brigade (FIB).

"South Africa has noted with concern the report on the deteriorating security situation in the eastern DRC. We condemn the activities of the illegal armed groups and call upon the groups and their sponsors to cease their activities immediately. The war has persisted for far too long and it is our firm belief that the people of the DRC deserve peace and development," said President Ramaphosa.

The summit also discussed a SADC common position to guide the region’s engagement at the Tripartite Summit on the coordination of interventions and multiple deployments in the eastern DRC.

The Extraordinary Troika Summit Plus followed the January 2023 Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit, held in Namibia, which considered the security situation in the SADC region.

The insecurity in the eastern DRC has been receiving sharp focus of the SADC, the African Union and other regional mechanisms.

The outcomes of the summit are expected to contribute to continental efforts aimed at finding a coordinated and lasting solution to the insecurity in the eastern DRC. South Africa is among the troop contributing countries to the FIB, which is deployed under MONUSCO.

In this regard, President Ramaphosa said that "South Africa stands ready to contribute to the development of effective regional instruments that could assist to stabilise the current security situation prevailing in the eastern DRC. We therefore support the need for long-term planning to be ingrained in the SADC Peace and Security Architecture."

The summit was preceded by meetings of the Senior Officials and Ministerial Committee of the Organ Troika Plus, respectively.




President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is concerned that the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the region remain mired in conflict and violence, driven by armed groups that are well-established and both Congolese and foreign.

“The resurgence of the M23, an armed group that was thought to have been dismantled in 2013/14, is even more worrying,” the President said on Saturday, 6 May 2023.

President Ramaphosa was speaking in Bujumbura, Burundi, where he was participating in the 11th High-Level Segment of the Regional Oversight Mechanism (ROM) of the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the DRC and the Great Lakes region.

“The current security situation in the eastern DRC requires our urgent attention. Over the past year, a humanitarian catastrophe unfolded before our eyes.”

To date, President Ramaphosa said more than 800 000 people had been displaced by the conflict.

“We cannot but be moved by their plight, and by the gross violations of human rights that are taking place. We cannot be but outraged at the scale of violence being perpetrated against women and girls, and by the blatant disregard for the provisions of international humanitarian law.”

This year marks 10 years since the PSC Framework was signed in 2013.

“At the time, hopes were high that the signing of the framework would usher in peace, security, stability and development for the DRC and the Great Lakes Region. Unfortunately, a decade later, these noble goals have not been achieved.”

The President believes that actionable decisions need to be taken to address the shortcomings emanating from the framework not being implemented.

“It is critical that all parties to the framework demonstrate the highest political will and reaffirm their commitment to its successfully implementation.”

He said South Africa fully supported the revitalisation efforts of the PSC Framework to respond to the current evolving challenges.

The focus, according to the President, should address the root causes of the conflict and drivers of violent conflicts in the region and develop a comprehensive strategy to combat the illegal exploitation of mineral resources, corruption, money laundering and transnational organised crime.

He also called for investment in building the institutional capacity of border management and control and the United Nations system to continue to provide capacity and technical assistance to state institutions to maintain standards of accountability with respect to gender-based violence and to strengthen legal frameworks.

In addition, he said countries in the region should accelerate developmental initiatives that address poverty, unemployment, and inequality.

“It is critical that there is harmonisation between the various initiatives aimed at addressing the situation in the DRC and the region. The PSC Framework should be the focal point all our efforts.”

He commended all the role players, facilitators and the East African Community for the deployment of the regional force.

“As we meet here today, we are painfully aware of the impact of another deadly conflict brewing on our continent.”

The President took the opportunity to also reiterate South Africa’s position on the unfolding crisis in Sudan.

“We call upon the warring armed forces to put down their weapons for the sake of preserving human life, and to begin dialogue and negotiations without delay.

“We further call on the Sudanese authorities to swiftly work towards the restoration of civilian-led government in line with the Political Framework Agreement signed in December last year.”

He told delegates that he hoped the second decade of existence of the PSC Framework would “breathe new life” into its implementation.

“We owe it to both current and future generations to give effect to the aspiration of Silencing the Guns across Africa.”

– Source:



President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his deep sadness at the passing of Dutch anti-apartheid activist and uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) fighter, Klaas de Jonge.
De Jonge passed away on Friday, 5 May 2023, at the age of 85 following an extended illness.

“President Ramaphosa extends his condolences to the family, friends and comrades of Klaas de Jonge who, under Dutch law, exercised his right to assisted death to end his battle against cancer.”

The former freedom fighter was a Dutch civil rights activist who became internationally known as an activist against apartheid in South Africa, when he was forced to spend two years as an asylum seeker at the Dutch Embassy in Pretoria in 1985.

From 1981 until 1985, The Presidency said, De Jonge was a member of a “special operations unit” of MK, the armed branch of the African National Congress, doing reconnaissance work and bringing in arms and explosives into South Africa.

This led to his arrest in 1985 by the South African Police. He managed to escape and acquired asylum in the Dutch Embassy in Pretoria until – after two years – he was exchanged for the South African commander of the apartheid regime, Wynand du Toit, in 1987.

He continued to do work for MK and the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement until the end of 1989.

His life partner, Belgian citizen Helene Pastoors, was also imprisoned for her armed action against the apartheid regime.

The President’s Office said the couple was remembered as distinguished liberation fighters on whom South Africa conferred the National Order of the Companions of OR Tambo.

President Ramaphosa said: “At the very close of his life, Klaas de Jonge exercised the characteristic clarity and bravery with which he had conducted his multifaceted life, a great deal of which he dedicated to fighting for our liberation.

“He made critical and perilous sacrifices for the cause of freedom in South Africa – a struggle that took him to different parts of our continent where he established bonds of solidarity and built networks of armed resistance to apartheid and colonialism as part of a new generation of progressive Dutch internationalists.”

President Ramaphosa said the country remained appreciative of his heroic and unselfish contribution to the struggle.

“He will live on in the memory and values of our nation and our continent.”

– Source:



The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, outlined South Africa’s foreign policy priorities for the 2023/24 financial year in a Budget Vote Speech delivered in Parliament on Wednesday, 10 May 2023.

The Minister’s speech also included some reflections on the achievements recorded during the course of the previous financial year.

Deputy Minister Candith Mashego-Dlamini and Deputy Minister Alvin Botes participated in the debate on the Budget Vote.

On the eve of the Budget Vote Speech, on 9 May 2023, Minister Pandor participated in a roundtable discussion organised in partnership with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA). The roundtable discussion focussed on the current geopolitical environment and South Africa’s role therein. The event took place at the Kelvin Grove Club in Newlands, Cape Town.

Participants at the seminar included SAIIA CEO, Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, Prof. Siphamandla Zondi and Dr Chris Lansberg (University of Johannesburg) and Dr Philani Mthembu (Institute for Global Dialogue).


Minister Naledi Pandor’s 2023 Budget Vote Speech

Deputy Minister Candith Mashego-Dlamini's 2023 Budget Vote Speech

Deputy Minister Alvin Botes' 2023 Budget Vote Speech


The South African Government welcomes the start of pre-negotiation talks between the Sudanese Army and the Rapid Support Forces, which commenced in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 6 May 2023.

South Africa further joins the African Union in commending the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America for facilitating and hosting the pre-negotiation talks as well as the two Sudanese parties for their direct engagement with each other across the table.

South Africa reiterates the centrality of the African Union (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in the pre-negotiation and subsequent talks to ensure long-lasting solutions to the challenges faced by Sudan.

South Africa further commends the role played by the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, African leaders and others, who worked tirelessly to negotiate several cease-fire agreements between the parties.

This is in keeping with the principle of African solutions to African problems. In this regard, South Africa hopes that the AU and IGAD will continue to play a central role in the current and subsequent talks.

South Africa reiterated its call for both parties to negotiate an agreement that would end the conflict and alleviate the suffering of the Sudanese people.

South Africa believes that a peaceful Sudan, led by a civilian government, is essential not only for Sudan but also for the broader region and the continent.




The South African Government wishes to express its deepest condolences to the Government of the Republic of Serbia for the loss of lives following tragic shootings in the Vračar and Mladenovac municipalities of Serbia, on 3 and 4 May 2023.

On 3 May 2023, a shooter opened fire on students and staff at Vladislav Ribnikar Elementary School in the Vračar municipality of Belgrade, Serbia, killing nine people (eight students and a security guard) and injuring eight other people. This event was unfortunately followed by another incident on 4 May 2023 near Mladenovac, a town south of Belgrade, in Serbia.

The Republic of South Africa wishes to convey its sincerest sympathy and thoughts to the Government and people of Serbia, and the families and friends of the departed on their tragic loss.

The thoughts of the South African people are with the people of Serbia during this tragic time, and we wish all those injured a speedy recovery.



Tourism Minister, Patricia de Lille, has challenged role players in the sector to go all out to push visitor numbers to the country to pre-COVID figures.

“As the sector, you know best what the issues are, and how we can grow tourism and jobs in this sector.

“My priority is clear: let’s get to over 21 million tourist arrivals before 2030. Let’s speak with one clear voice. Let’s have one clear message on destination marketing. Let’s make South Africa safer for tourists and let’s get to truly opening our country for visitors with the e-visas and improving air access,” Minister De Lille said when addressing Africa’s Travel Indaba on Monday, 8 May 2023, in Durban.

Minister de Lille said East Africa had already surpassed pre-COVID visitor numbers, and that South Africa needed to get there too.

“We need to increase the volume and value of domestic and international tourism through the Tourism Recovery Plan, so we are expediting the conversion of the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan as the basis for the Tourism Sector Master Plan.

“The Master Plan needs to focus on what the needs of the world are, and what role the South African Government needs to play holistically in driving tourism forward.”


Minister De Lille welcomed the rolling out of e-visa, saying it would contribute to increasing the number of tourists in the country.

At the SA Investment Conference, held recently in Sandton, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa was expanding the e-visa system to 20 more countries.

Minister De Lille said she would be working closely with Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, on fast-tracking the applications and approval processes.

Minister De Lille also acknowledged the role played by the transport sector in the tourism sector.

“The Department of Transport understands that tourism is an important sector that makes a meaningful contribution to the economy and the South African brand.

“We must work together to resolve the matter of tour operators who have not collected their licences. There is now a backlog of 418 current applications.

“There are a few remaining priorities in this area, such as the Department of Transport investigating and conducting a legal assessment of the possibility of implementing a moratorium/amnesty on law enforcement,” the Minister said.

Investing in infrastructure

Minister de Lille said she was a firm believer in government investing in infrastructure development to create an environment conducive for investment by the private sector.

“I have started working with Infrastructure South Africa in this regard and I look forward to working with all of you on actions we can take to grow tourism infrastructure and investment,” she said.

Over 20 African countries participated in Africa’s Travel Indaba, which showcased over 350 tourism products.

This year’s event was a vibrant and diverse representation of Africa’s tourism industry, offering a vast array of unique and exciting offerings that the continent has to offer.

The 2023 edition of Africa’s Travel Indaba brought together stakeholders from across the tourism industry ecosystem, from no less than 1 000 buyers, just under 1 000 exhibitors, destination marketing bodies, hotel groups, airlines, tour operators and 10 African tourism boards.

 – Source:



The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, has called for significant reform of the global financial system and of multilateral development banks to fund developing countries’ biodiversity and climate change initiatives.

Addressing the Fifth Global Conference on Biodiversity Finance in Cape Town, the Minister said South Africa’s biodiversity was not only a national and cultural asset but also a source of economic prosperity through the sustainable use of a wide variety of plants and wildlife.

“Mechanisms such as debt for biodiversity swaps, payment for ecosystem services, as well as greater availability of grant financing and concessional loans must be considered in the context of achieving sustainable financing mechanisms for developing countries. Neither our biodiversity nor our climate change objectives can be achieved by Global Environmental Facility (GEF) funding or by further loans to developing countries, the majority of which are already heavily indebted,” Minister Creecy said on Tuesday, 9 May 2023.

According to research conducted in 2017 (and updated in 2022), some of the many ecosystem services provided by natural ecosystems in South Africa could be valued at R275 billion per year (R325 billion in 2022).

“This conservative valuation is equivalent to 7% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Biodiversity is also the basis for substantial employment in economic activities that depend on biodiversity for their core business, including such industries as the wildlife economy, ecotourism, natural resource management, biotrade and research.

“In 2014, biodiversity-related employment was estimated at approximately 400 000 jobs. A survey of retail stores found 549 products containing indigenous South African species, such as aloe, rooibos, honey-bush, baobab and hoodia are just some local plants that have been used in lucrative international medicinal, cosmetic or food products.

“Many local and international tourists travel in South Africa to take part in nature-based activities, and to view and enjoy our diverse country. Approximately 12% of tourism demand, or R31 billion, is based on biodiversity, and tourist attractions account for R1 billion in tax spent on products and 88 000 direct jobs,” Minister Creecy said.

The Minister said a strong connection with nature was associated with the health and well-being of a nation’s citizens.

There are approximately 2 000 medicinal plant species in South Africa and traditional medicines are used by 70% of South Africa’s people, providing 293 000 South Africans with income-generating opportunities and contributing about R18 billion to the economy each year.

“Despite these important developments, there is still a massive financial gap when it comes to funding in the biodiversity sector. This gap is both global and local. Some estimates put the global biodiversity funding gap at US$598 billion to US$824 billion per year by 2030.

“BIOFIN has costed our own National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) of 2018 and revealed that the cost of implementation is approximately R63 billion (US$3.7 billion) at 2018 values over the planned 10 years of implementation.

“This costing was prior to the adoption of the Global Biodiversity Framework and we can now safely estimate that the costs will be considerably more,” the Minister said.

A rough update of the figures for 2021 showed that about R17.8 billion (US$1.1 billion) was allocated in that year, accounting for less than 1% of government spending. This was supplemented with R849 million (less than R1 billion) from the private sector (largely related to private nature reserves) and R597 million (US$35 million) from non-governmental organisations.

Minister Creecy acknowledged international donors such as the GEF for funding conservation practice in South Africa.

“Over the previous four GEF-funding cycles since 2010, more than US$100 million has been committed for biodiversity projects in South Africa,” the Minister said.

– Source:



The National Assembly (NA) has approved the South African Sign Language (SASL) as the 12th official language during a hybrid plenary sitting last week.
The NA approved the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on the Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill [B1 – 2023] to amend section 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.

The amendment was to include SASL as an official language to promote the rights of persons who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Until now, the South African Constitution provided for 11 official languages, which include Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu.

“Primarily, the amendment seeks to advance the cultural acceptance of SASL, the deaf culture; ensure the realisation of the rights of persons who are deaf and hard of hearing to equal protection and benefit of the law and human dignity; and to promote inclusive and substantive equality and prevent or eliminate unfair discrimination on the ground of disability, as guaranteed by Section 9 of the Constitution,” Parliament Spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo, said.

The Bill was introduced and referred to the committee on 12 January 2023, and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development briefed the committee on the contents of the Bill on 27 January 2023.

In response to the call for public comment, the committee received 58 written submissions from individuals and organisations, with the majority of the submissions in support of the Bill.

The committee noted the opposing views expressed by a few commentators, but submitted that the recognition of SASL as a 12th official language “is an important step towards the realisation of the rights of persons who are deaf and hard of hearing”.

 “Further, the committee acknowledged that SASL was not a universal language (different countries have their own sign language and regions have dialects) submitted that, in South Africa, it is in the promotion and development of SASL that the various dialects are also recognised.

“In terms of section 74(4) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, a Bill that amends the Constitution may not include provisions other than constitutional amendments and matters connected with the amendments. The Committee noted that the use of South African Sign Language is mentioned in legislation, such as the Use of Official Languages Act 12 of 2012, the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996, and the Pan South African Language Board Act 59 of 1995,” Mothapo said.

He emphasised that the adoption of the Bill could impact the scope and purpose of the reference to sign language in such legislation.

“Relevant departments administering those and related legislation should take note of this constitutional amendment recognising SASL as an official language in terms of section 6 of the Constitution and consider whether the adoption of the Bill may require consequential amendment to associated legislation for purposes of clarifying the status of SASL as expressed in the Constitution,” Mothapo said.

 The amendment was adopted without opposition in the NA.

“The adoption of this constitutional amendment yesterday will bring to 12 the number of official languages in South Africa, once the President signs the Bill into law.”

– Source:



The Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Buti Manamela, participated and gave a keynote address at the BRICS Youth Trade Convention hosted by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)at the CSIR Campus on 5 May 2023 under the theme “Making Trade Accessible”.

The convention brought together over 200 stakeholders in trade to interact on intra-Africa and BRICS trade, and how young people could play a catalytic role in contributing to the transformation of multilateral platforms.

It is critical for young people to actively participate in contributing towards shaping the discourse and infusing ground-breaking ideas that can be beneficial to the growth and development of our country, continent and BRICS.



The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has released the upgraded series of banknotes and coins.
According to the bank, the upgraded notes and coins have enhanced security features and new designs.

While the banknote designs will remain largely similar to that of old, with an enhanced look and feel, the coinage has the most significant changes, now boasting ecologically inspired designs.

“The banknotes continue to pay tribute to South Africa's first democratically elected President, Nelson Mandela, with his portrait retained on the front of the banknotes, while the Big 5 animals are now illustrated as a family on the back.

“We also celebrate our constitutional democracy, with the Preamble to the South African Constitution printed in microtext around Madiba’s portrait and the country’s flag featured on the front and the back of the banknotes.

“The theme of the coin series is 'Deep ecology', which acknowledges the interconnectedness of living organisms as an integral part of the environment. These themes are depicted by our fauna and flora on the coin,” the SARB said.

Changes to the coins include:

The Cape honey bee is on the 10c; bitter aloe is on the 20c; the Knysna turaco is on the 50c; the king protea is on the R1; the springbok is on the R2 and southern right whale is on the R5 coin.

The South African flag is on the front of the R1 coin.

The words “South Africa” are in one language on the R1 coin.

The words “South Africa” are in three languages on the R5 coin.

The latent image on the R5 changes from “RAND” to “FIVE” when tilted.

The coin series has new landing patterns on the inside of the coin to assist the visually impaired community to differentiate between the various denominations by feel.

The SARB explained that international best practice informed that banknotes and coins are regularly upgraded to “combat counterfeiting and to stay abreast with technological advancements”.

“In general, banknotes are refreshed in intervals of six to eight years and coins in intervals of 20 to 30 years. In South Africa, the current Mandela banknote series was issued in 2012 and a commemorative series of banknotes was issued in 2018. The current coin series was issued in 1989.

“The SARB does not demonetise its currency. All previously issued circulation banknotes and coins can be used as a means of trade together with the upgraded banknotes and coin. All circulation currency maintains its face value.

“Members of the public are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the upgraded banknotes and coins and to use the look, feel and tilt method to authenticate their currency. Changes to the upgraded banknotes and coins are available on the SARB website and the SARB Currency App, which is available on the Apple iStore and the Google Play Store,” the SARB said.

– Source:



In a first for South Africa, specialist whisky retailer, WhiskyBrother, has been awarded as the Global Multiple Outlet Retailer of the Year at the 2023 Icons of Whisky announced in London by “Whisky Magazine”.
The South African retailer competed against retailers from across the world, including Scotland, America, Ireland, Japan and Europe, in two rounds of judging, for this prestigious accolade.

Known as the Oscars of Whisky, the annual Icons of Whisky award international industry leaders, producers, promoters and retailers, judged by an esteemed panel of experts.

This is the second international award for WhiskyBrother – the first in 2020 when they were awarded as the Global Single Retail Outlet by the same competition, presented online due to COVID-19.

WhiskyBrother opened its doors in 2012 with one retail store in Hyde Park and today owns two additional in Bryanston and Bedfordview. They launched Johannesburg’s first dedicated whisky bar in Sandton, which has over 1 500 exclusive whiskies to taste, and have an online store that delivers nationwide, with the largest selection of premium whiskies for purchase, including frequent limited editions and exclusive releases.

Their exclusive whisky releases are one of the offerings that set WhiskyBrother apart in the South African landscape. Selected by the team directly from the casks, the whiskies are not available anywhere else in the world and offer local whisky lovers unique whiskies that would otherwise never have been bottled. Currently, WhiskyBrother releases on average 20 single casks each year and are on track to reach its 100th release milestone in the next 12 months.

In addition, due to customer demand, they now have a full-time brand ambassador who hosts an average of four tastings each week nationwide, and organises The Only Whisky Show, a yearly whisky festival in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

An ecstatic Marc Pendlebury, founder and co-owner of WhiskyBrother, is humbled by the recognition.

“It is hard to believe it all started from a simple whisky blog and Twitter account in 2009 to further my whisky knowledge and share my experiences with fellow South African whisky-lovers. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect the brand and business to grow to this extent, to the point where it has established itself on the international stage and can bring home global awards!”

WhiskyBrother is currently working on a soon-to-be-announced project that will see the business expand into its first international market.

– Source:



On Africa World Heritage Day, a cultural and natural celebration of all things African, CNN Travel crowned South Africa the “undisputed champ of African hiking”, despite Mount Kilimanjaro being the ultimate quest.
According to the publication, our crowning glories are the trail diversity, the fynbos landscape, “extremely high biodiversity” and of course, the flora and fauna.

As many South Africans and visitors know well, one can find a hiking trail just about anywhere in our country if you take a little drive.

Here are South Africa’s most epic trails for a multiway adventure, and where to find them:

1. Otter Trail

Where: Garden Route National Park, Eastern Cape

Wow factor: Aquatic sea life spotting (dolphins and of course, the cape clawless otter)

2. Mont-Aux-Sources

Where: Thendele Royal National Park, Drakensberg

Wow factor: The epic summits

African Hiking

3. Klipspringer Trail

Where: Augrabies Falls National Park, Northern Cape

Wow factor: The gorges and massive Orange River waterfall

4. Cape of Good Hope Trail

Where: Cape of Good Hope National Park, Cape Point, Western Cape

Wow factor: Wildlife meets ocean views

5. Kgaswane Summit Trail

Where: Kgaswane Mountain Reserve, Magaliesberg, Gauteng

Wow factor: Walking through history following in the footsteps of hunters and gatherers

6. Tsitsikamma Trail

Where: Garden Route National Park, Western and Eastern Cape

Wow factor: The lush greenery

7.  Rim of Africa

Where: Cederberg to Outeniqua, Western Cape

Wow factor: The fynbos

8. Ribbok Trail

Where: Golden Gate National Park, Free State

Wow factor: The sandstone formations and wildlife spottings

9. Namaqualand Coast

Where: Heaviside Trail, Namaqua National Park, Western Cape

Wow factor: Coastal dunes and wildflowers in the area.

– Source:



Dr Esther Mahlangu has three solo exhibitions taking place in Europe, sharing her heritage and talent with the world once again.
Dr Mahlangu is a South African artist from the Ndebele nation and best known for her bold, large-scale contemporary paintings that reference her Ndebele heritage. Dr Mahlangu’s art references are found in the clothing and jewellery of the Ndebele people.

Over the years, she has become an international icon in art and proudly shown her heritage to the world. This has earned her many accolades, including being honoured three times with honorary doctorates.

The Melrose Gallery recently shared the happy news that Dr Mahlangu’s work would once again be honoured with solo exhibitions. This time, she will have three, one in London and two in Paris.

Her art and her history.

Dr Mahlangu was born on 11 November 1935 in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, and belongs to the South Ndebele people. Mahlangu began painting at 10 years of age and was taught the skill of mural painting by her mother and grandmother, following a tradition of her native South Ndebele people for females to paint the exterior of houses. It is in this cultural tradition that Mahlangu began her artistic journey.

Mahlangu first gained international attention in 1989 at a European art exposition, titled Magiciens de la terre (Magicians of the World). Later in 1991, she was commissioned by BMW to create an art car, as other BMW Art Car creators had done before (including Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Frank Stella). The car, a BMW 525i, was the first “African Art Car” and was painted with typical motifs of the Ndebele tribe.

She was the first non-Western person and female to design one of these art cars.

The car was later exhibited at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC in 1994. Between 1980 and 1991, she was a resident at the Botshabelo open-air museum, which presents Ndebele culture to visitors.

Her designs were also reproduced in 1997 on the tails of British Airways planes and more recently, the same technique was used by the artist to paint on the new Fiat 500 on the occasion of the exhibition “Why Africa?”.

Mahlangu is one of the African artists whose art is often exhibited internationally. Her works are in major private collections including that of The Contemporary African Art Collection of Jean Pigozzi and in many Western museums.

The Melrose Gallery is collaborating with Almine Rech Paris and London, and Galerie Enrico Navarra in Paris for three solo exhibitions by Dr Mahlangu.

 – Source:



South Africa's Pretty Yende became the first black woman to sing at the coronation of a British monarch on Saturday, 6 May 2023.
Yende sang moments before Charles III was crowned king at London's Westminster Abbey.

Reflecting on getting chosen by the king himself, Yende tells News24: "I do the best I can because I know that it's not only for me but for so many of us."

Moments before King Charles III's coronation service began at London's Westminster Abbey on Saturday, 6 May, South Africa's Pretty Yende performed before guests in a history-making moment.

Ahead of the, likely, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – the last time the world saw the crowning of a British monarch was 70 years ago – Yende told News24 exclusively as she became the first black woman to perform at one such occasion:

"I take every opportunity I get. Whenever I'm invited or given a task, I do the best I can because I know that it's not only for me but for so many of us."

Yende performed Sacred Fire, composed by Sarah Class, as well as Oh, had I Jubal's lyre and Care selve.

Ahead of the coronation, Yende said in an interview, per Aljazeera: "I'm too excited to be nervous."

She added:

"It's an incredible time of my life as a young girl, as a South African, as an artist, only joy floods my heart. For me, it's a soul's business. Whether you're a king, a princess or just a girl from the tip of Africa singing for the coronation of the king."

Speaking to News24's royal reporter, Bashiera Parker, Yende revealed how, as she takes the world by storm as a "superbeing", she always makes sure she's got a little piece of home with her.

"What I do more often than not is to always try and bring with me, when I travel, some spices from South Africa so that when I cook, I have some sort of familiarity of the person that is always there and has always been there."

She added: "If it wasn't for her wildest dreams, I wouldn't be here."

– Source:




The legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo will kick off their SA Legacy Tour in Johannesburg later this month.

The group – described by former President Nelson Mandela as South African ambassadors of culture and heritage worldwide – will tour the rest of the country later this year.

"Ladysmith Black Mambazo is celebrating Africa Month because our music is deeply rooted in African culture and heritage," Sibongiseni Shabalala said of their upcoming performances.

The five-time Grammy award-winning isicathamiya group, which has existed for six decades, will kick off their tour on Wednesday, 24 May, and end their Johannesburg run on Sunday, 28 May.

Tickets are between R130.00 and R350.00 on Webtickets.

The Joburg Theatre show celebrates Africa Month as 25 May is Africa Day.

"Ladysmith Black Mambazo is celebrating Africa Month because our music is deeply rooted in African culture and heritage. Our entire South African tour is about celebrating Africa's and our own groups' roots and origins."

-- Group member, Sibongiseni Shabalala

Following their Johannesburg run, the group will tour the rest of the country, with shows in Durban, Cape Town and Pretoria.

The group formed in the early 60s has recorded and performed with global music icons, including Burna Boy, Josh Groban, Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, The Winans, Dolly Parton and many more.

Indeed, Ladysmith Black Mambazo spent most of their year performing abroad, which makes this tour a special occasion for their South African fans who have long supported them.

"South African audiences were the first to endorse the success of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. From humble beginnings, the group broke records by being the top-selling music group in South Africa in the late 70s and 80s," said Sibongiseni Shabalala of the group started by his father, Joseph Shabalala, in the 1960s.

"Performing at home is very special because the social issues of South Africa inspired the music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo during the dark days of apartheid till now. Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a mirror of South African society," added Albert Mazibuko, who has been with the group since it began.

"The South African national tour aims to reconnect with local audiences and also celebrate the legacy of the group since it was established."

Ladysmith Black Mambazo will also visit schools to motivate them and do a music masterclass with students in each city.

– Source:



Two creative lions are set to debut their work at an international festival where they will represent South Africa in the battle of the films.
Bernice Puleng Mosala and Raphael Janan Kuppasamy will have their main character moments at the Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity competition in June, where the stage is set for an electric gathering of creatives.

Here, they’ll compete for the title of the 2023 Film Young Lions, battling out the lights, cameras and all the action against over 450 competitors for a spotlight on the global stage.

The two got their golden ticket after winning the local film category competition where they put pen to paper, and paper to camera to create a piece focussed on mental health through connecting with the SADAG (South African Depression and Anxiety Group).

They also won back in 2020 but couldn’t attend the Festival of Creativity in person due to the pandemic.

“The insight behind our idea is that young people do a lot of ‘talking’ online, but they don’t actually speak about what is bothering them.

“This led to our concept, which was to showcase how much one person texts, comments and types in a day without actually saying anything about how they really feel.

“Ultimately, we wanted to communicate that for a generation that shares so much, maybe we need to share more.” ‒ Bernice Puleng Mosala and Raphael Janan Kuppasamy.

The creative shakers had only 48 hours to complete the entire assignment and create a commercial that would convey their mental health message to their vision.

Bernice is an avid writer while Raphael is an art director who won the Loeries Young Creative Award last year.

The competition will take place from 19 to 23 June in Cannes, France.

– Source:




South Africa’s RMB National Rowing Squad has started their international season with a fantastic performance at the first Rowing World Cup, held in Zagreb from 5 to 7 May 2023 in Croatia – winning silver and bronze.

The Men’s Four and Women’s Double Scull both secured medals, with the Men’s Four rowing a particularly impressive race.

The Men’s Four – comprised of Henry Torr, James Mitchell, Christopher Baxter,and Jake Green – had a point to prove after being beaten by the Ukrainian boat at the World Championships last year, which pushed them into the B Final.

The South African crew rowed a brave and determined race, overtaking the Ukrainian boat and pushing onto the fast-starting Swiss crew to secure a silver medal in a time of 6:02.12.

“This silver medal marks a significant improvement for the Men’s Four, and the team should be proud of their effort,” said Team SA.

The Women’s Double Scull, consisting of Katherine Williams and Paige Badenhorst, also performed admirably, securing a solid bronze medal in a time of 7:10.18. The South African crew displayed mature and controlled rowing, staying ahead of the Ukrainian double and having overlap on the Austrian double that finished fourth in the world last year.

RMB’s Head of Brand Lucy Lightfoot, says:

“It is extremely exciting and encouraging to once again see the high levels of performance from the RMB National Squad on the international stage. We would like to congratulate the rowers with the bronze and silver they are bringing home. This first international regatta of the year plays an important role in the squad’s preparation ahead of the Paris Olympics, and the results are indicative of the tremendous effort of Tiago Loureiro RMB National Squad Head Coach and his team and athletes are investing in setting themselves, and South Africa, up for success.”

The RMB National Squad’s success in Zagreb bodes well for the rest of their international season. Their strong showing is a testament to the team’s dedication and hard work, as well as the support they receive from their sponsors, RMB, according to Team SA.

Despite the tough competition, the RMB National Squad put in a solid performance, showcasing their skills and determination on the water. For this team, the regatta was their first international race of the season, and they are now focussed on building up towards Olympic qualification in Serbia later this year.

Overall, the RMB National Squad’s performance in Croatia demonstrates the team’s potential to compete at the highest levels of international rowing. With continued support and hard work, this group of talented athletes has the potential to achieve great things in the sport and represent their country with pride on the world stage.

– Source:



Women’s rugby is getting a brighter spotlight thanks to a new international competition.
According to SA Rugby, the new tournament will be an added incentive for the Springbok Women in their African Cup Campaign, as they’ll need to win the Africa Cup tournament to qualify.

Still, playing host to one of the three WXV tournaments is a fantastic moment for Mzansi and women empowerment.

Epically, this year will mark two international hosting eras for South Africa focussed on women, with the Netball World Cup taking place in July.

“It’s massive for the women’s game and we can only commend World Rugby for designing and funding the competition where the top 18 teams in the world will get more competitive games to play, and I have no doubt that it is going to drive the standard of the game.

“It will also give our national team at least three more competitive Tests every year and this time around, it will provide a good build-up to the 2024 season, which will be the next Rugby World Cup qualification cycle. More games will make us more competitive and hopefully improve our world ranking.” ‒ Lynne Cantwell, SA Rugby’s High-Performance Manager for Women’s Rugby.

“WXV is the flagship of the competitions pillar of our accelerating the global growth of women in rugby strategy. It is more than a world-class competition, it is a statement of intent, a vehicle to supercharge the reach, competitiveness and value of elite women’s rugby and growing rugby more broadly, projecting the sport to new audiences in new markets.” ‒ Sally Horrox, World Rugby Chief of Women’s Rugby.

WXV 1 is set to be hosted in New Zealand, while WX3’s host is yet to be named. WX2 will see six teams battle it out on South African fields in the Western Cape.

“Participating teams will include the top three teams from the Women’s Six Nations (Europe) and the top three teams from the World Rugby Pacific Four Series (Rugby Americas North/Oceania). Each team will play three matches.” ‒ SA Rugby.

‒ Source:




The T20 Women's World Cup in South Africa revealed impressive numbers as it showcased the growth of the women's game.

Australia won their sixth T20 World Cup title after defeating first-ever finalists South Africa.

The event has created a long-term legacy for women's cricket in South Africa.

The T20 Women's World Cup, which was hosted in South Africa earlier this year, was deemed a huge success as the appetite for the women's game continues its upward trajectory.

According to International Cricket Council (ICC), the Women's T20 World Cup was the most watched ICC women's event to date with global viewing hours reaching 192 million, a 44% increase from the 2020 World Cup in Australia.

The Proteas women's team, playing in a senior World Cup on home soil for the first time, fell 19 runs short at a sold-out Newlands final, which saw defending champions Australia claim their sixth T20 World Cup title.

Broadcast figures in the host nation saw a 130% increase in live coverage, including the final in which a South African senior cricket team, men's or women's, competed for the first time ever.

This South African achievement was in large part responsible for a lasting legacy of women's cricket in the country.

Overall viewership figures for the event shattered past records. Fans tuning in to enjoy the cricket on display increased by 790%, compared to the previous edition in 2020.

Despite India not reaching the final, the country's live viewing hours across linear TV and digital platforms increased by 57%, with the most watched match in the subcontinental country being India and Pakistan's group match, which was won by seven wickets by the women in blue.

In the United Kingdom, the total live viewing hours of the World Cup was 6.9 million, up 26% from 2020 and 16% from the 2018 event, making it the most watched ICC Women's T20 World Cup to date.

On ICC's digital channels there was an uplift of 26% video views across all channels with the global showpiece achieving 1.39 billion video views compared to 1.1 billion for the 2020 edition Down Under.

Across the ICC website and app, the T20 World Cup attracted the highest-ever audience for a women's event with 12.5m unique users across both platforms, which is 20% higher than the Women's 50-ove World Cup in New Zealand in 2022.

– Source:

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