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President Cyril Ramaphosa led the Africa Day celebrations on Thursday, 25 May 2023, at the Cradle of Humankind in Krugersdorp.
Africa Day is celebrated throughout the continent and parts of the world in commemoration of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity – now known as the African Union (AU) – in 1963.

This year’s celebrations were held under the theme “Deepening the AU Vision for Unity for Africa through Prosperity, Peace and Modernity for a Better Africa and a Better World”.

“The Africa Day celebration seeks to promote the African Agenda and strengthen the AU institutions and policies; implement and bring to life the AU Agenda 2063 and the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance; further promote regional integration by strengthening people-to-people contact and harmonise policies and share skills and expertise; as well as to promote cultural diplomacy for a broader socio-economic agenda.

Prior to the formal Africa Day programme, the day will commence with a carnival and colourful parade dance troops from across various African countries, showcasing Africa’s creativeness through floats, large 3D costumes, acrobats and an eclectic mix of melodies at 7am,” the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture said in a statement.

A day before the main day’s celebrations, the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Zizi Kodwa, and Deputy Minister Nocawe Mafu, led a colloquium to unpack the theme and also engaged on various issues affecting the country and the continent.

Panellists included Professor Joseph Diescho (Visiting Professor of the Centre for Advanced Security and Integration Studies at the University of Bonn, Germany); and Dr Dikeledi Mokoena, (Nelson Mandela University), among others.

Speaking to the media on Monday, 22 May 2023, Presidential Spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said Africa Day bore substantial meaning for President Ramaphosa.

“Africa Day is a day that focuses our consciousness on the development of our continent, regional integration, the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, and the human, cultural and natural treasures of Africa."

– Source:



President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) as a project that has not only made history, but has brought hope to the citizens of both Lesotho and South Africa.

The President was speaking at the launch of Phase II of the LHWP at Polihali Dam in the Mountain Kingdom.

“I would like to emphasise that the Lesotho Highlands Water Project is more than just a water project.

“It is a beacon of hope, a symbol of progress, a symbol of international cooperation and a testament to the strength of bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa. Together, we have achieved a lot, and I have no doubt that we will continue to work together to ensure that this project is completed successfully,” President Ramaphosa said.

President Ramaphosa noted that once Phase II is complete, “more than 400 million cubic metres of water will flow every year from the upper reaches of the Senqu River in Lesotho through the existing conveyance infrastructure to the Vaal Dam in South Africa”.

He emphasised, however, that the benefits of the project were not only one-sided.

“We are determined that this massive trans-border project should equally benefit the peoples of Lesotho and South Africa. In addition to the royalties Lesotho receives from the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, local jobs have been created and new roads have been built in the Kingdom.

“Both Phase I and II include the construction of hydropower facilities to provide electricity for Lesotho. It has been critical for us, as both Lesotho and South Africa, that all communities affected by the construction of the Polihali Dam were consulted, that there should be fair compensation and relocation to alternative housing nearby,” he said.

The President highlighted that the LHWP was one of biggest infrastructure investment that government had embarked on outside its borders.

“This project is a good example of public-private collaboration to build key public infrastructure. Most of the approximately R40 billion in capital required for Phase II will be raised in South Africa’s financial markets by the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority. The private sector is playing a similar role in many of our other major water resource infrastructure projects in South Africa,” he said.

Turning to South Africa’s own plans, the President said South Africa and Namibia’s governments were also working together to add further water infrastructure.

“As African countries, all our water resources are interconnected. South Africa shares 60% of its freshwater resources with its neighbours. We are therefore committed to multilateral trans-border collaboration to ensure that shared water resources are used for the benefit of all.

“As South Africa, we are also working with Namibia on the joint planning of additional dam infrastructure on the Lower Orange River. This is to ensure that the Lesotho Highlands Water Project does not negatively impact the Lower Orange River system,” he said.

– Source:



President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the tourism industry’s recovery, following the near decimation of the sector during and shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The President was addressing the nation through his weekly newsletter.

Statistics South Africa and Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille released tourism statistics indicating that some 5.7 million visitors ‒ an increase of 150% ‒ graced South African shores last year with just over two million coming to Mzansi in the first quarter of this year.

“Although tourist arrivals are not yet at pre-pandemic levels, the latest figures show that a significant and rapid recovery is underway. This is taking place in the midst of heightened political and economic uncertainty across the world and particular challenges, especially around electricity supply, here at home.

“Yet, despite these difficult conditions, visitors see South Africa as an attractive destination with unparalleled natural beauty, warm and hospitable people, and good value,” he said.

President Ramaphosa highlighted that as tourists began to stream into the country, so too does the economy benefit.

“Not only are we seeing more tourists coming to our shores, but they are also spending more during their visits – more than R25 billion in the first quarter of 2023. This is a valuable stream of foreign exchange, sustaining and creating jobs and enabling further investment in our tourism infrastructure,” he said.

The President said the recently held Africa Travel Indaba served as an opportunity for smaller players in South Africa’s tourism sector to showcase the variety of tourism products “to give further impetus to our recovery”.

“Of the exhibitors at the Indaba, over 120 were small local tourism enterprises that were supported by government to display their unique products and services, expand their networks and foster partnerships. This is part of our commitment to nurturing small operators in the tourism sector to encourage transformation and the creation of many more jobs,” he said.

Continental travellers

President Ramaphosa noted that the release of the tourism figures during Africa Month “is particularly encouraging given that the majority of visitors to South Africa in 2022, approximately 4 million, were from our continent”.

In that vein, the President said, South Africa would be pressing forward with expanding the e-Visa system.

“Travellers from the region and the broader continent are increasingly seeing South Africa as a premier tourism destination and are flocking here to experience our natural wonders and to spend money at South African businesses.

“Given the importance of growing tourism to South Africa’s economy, we are determined to forge ahead with the process of immigration reform to improve our competitiveness as a tourism destination.

“At this year’s Fifth South Africa Investment Conference, I announced that we will be expanding the e-Visa system from the 14 countries in which it currently operates to include an additional 20 countries.

“There are obviously linkages between tourists visiting a country and potential future trade and investment. Last week, the Department of Home Affairs published its visa reform implementation plan, which will help to further boost tourism and attract investment,” he said.

President Ramaphosa also noted that South African Airways’ steady rise into other countries also acted as a springboard to bring tourists back into the country.

“South African Airways is expanding into ever more markets on the continent, and we are seeing the resumption of direct flights from major destinations. By way of example, Air China has resumed direct flights to South Africa, and United Airlines now flies directly to New York and Washington DC.

“The latest tourism figures are very encouraging and should strengthen our resolve to ensure that tourism becomes one of the biggest drivers of our economic recovery,” he said.

– Source:




At the invitation of the Togolese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and Togolese Abroad, Prof. Robert Dussey, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, attended the Launch Ceremony of the Ninth Pan-African Congress on Monday, 22 May 2023, in Lomé, Togo.

Minister Pandor also used the opportunity of her visit to Lomé to hold bilateral meetings with her Togolese counterpart, Prof. Dussey, and other ministers attending the Launch Ceremony.

The Ninth Pan-African Congress Launch Ceremony came after the African Union (AU) Assembly in February 2023 adopted a decision to endorse the Progress Report on Activities and Prospects for the Establishment of the High Committee in Charge of the Agenda for the Decade of African Roots and Diaspora.

South Africa played a key role in getting the Diaspora process on the agenda of the AU. South Africa sponsored a decision, which was adopted by the First Extra-ordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of States and Government, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to amend the Constitutive Act to “invite and encourage the full participation of the African Diaspora as an important part of our continent, in the building of the African Union”.

South Africa’s support of the African Diaspora agenda has, in recent times, seen several developments, most notably the AU’s Declaration of 2021 to 2031 as the Decade of the African Roots and Diasporas and the Africa and African Diaspora Virtual Conference, held from 23 to 29 October 2021 in South Africa.

South Africa and Togo enjoy good diplomatic relations and these relations were formally established with the signing of the Declaration of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations on 5 January 1997.

South Africa does not have a Diplomatic Mission in Lomé and manages the relations through its Embassy in Cotonou, in the Republic of Benin. Togo established an Embassy in Pretoria on 18 October 2015.

Nedbank and the Public Investment Corporation are the second- and third-largest shareholders in the Lomé head-quartered Pan African Bank and EcoBank. Togo is hoping to benefit from South African expertise in areas such as industry, agro-processing, energy and the port and airport sector. Asky, the Togolese airline, is now flying between South Africa and Togo.

Bilateral trade between South Africa and Togo totalled US$67 398 000 in 2021. Bilateral trade is in favour of Togo. South African exports to Togo totalled US$24 829 000 in 2021. South African imports from Togo totalled US$42 569 000 in 2021. South African imports are in the main, mineral fuels from Togo. Togo’s investment attractiveness in terms of foreign direct investment flows (FDI) is positive. Total FDI inflows increased from US$46.31 million in 2016 to US$129.89 million in 2021.



The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, recently concluded a successful Official Visit to Lisbon, Portugal, where she met her counterpart, João Gomes Cravinho, for bilateral talks.

Ministers Pandor and Cravinho reviewed the state of bilateral relations between South Africa and Portugal, noting with satisfaction that the two countries enjoy strong relations at the bilateral and multilateral levels.

The two ministers discussed preparations for the upcoming State Visit to South Africa by the President of Portugal, His Excellency Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. The State Visit is scheduled to take place during June 2023.

In their discussions, the ministers noted that South Africa and Portugal collaborated in a number of sectors, such as basic and higher education, science and technology, defence as well as trade and investment.

Portugal is an important trade and investment partner of South Africa. South African exports to Portugal in 2021 were valued at approximately R2,8 billion, while imports from Portugal were valued at R4,6 billion in the same year.

There are approximately 500 000 South Africans of Portuguese descent and about 200 000 Portuguese nationals who reside in South Africa.

Minister Pandor also met representatives of Portuguese companies operating in South Africa. The Minister outlined the steps being taken by government to ensure that South Africa maintains its position as an attractive destination for foreign direct investment. Minister Pandor also met the Mayor of the City of Lisbon, Mr Carlos Manuel Félix Moedas.

Minister Pandor and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, took advantage of their presence in Lisbon to hold talks at the Ukrainian Embassy. Minister Pandor briefed Minister Kuleba about the envisaged mission to Kiev and Moscow by a committee of six African heads of state and government, among them President Cyril Ramaphosa. Minister Kuleba told Minister Pandor that Ukraine welcomed the initiative and was looking forward to receiving the African leaders in Kiev.

The Minister concluded her visit to Lisbon by paying a courtesy call on President de Sousa, where she relayed President Ramaphosa’s readiness to host President de Sousa on his forthcoming State Visit to South Africa.


The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, has paid an Official Visit to the People’s Republic of China.

During her visit, the Deputy Minister co-chaired the 12th South Africa-China Strategic Dialogue (SD) on 24 May 2023 with Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr DENG Li.

The SD was established in 2008 as a platform for a review of bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries at ministerial level. The SD Mechanism forms part of the South Africa-China Bi-National Commission (BNC) and provides a framework for the implementation of the comprehensive strategic partnership. The previous SD was last virtually held in 2021.

The meeting provided an opportunity for the Deputy Minister to continue with the momentum of positive bilateral relations, particularly in the context of South Africa and China celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations.

During her visit to China, the Deputy Minister is also expected to host a tourism workshop, which aims to promote South Africa as a tourism destination.

Formal bilateral relations between South Africa and China were established in 1998 and are underpinned by the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership signed in 2010 as well as the new 10 Years Strategic Programme on Cooperation between South Africa and China  (2020 ‒ 2029).

China is South Africa’s largest global trading partner, which has increased from less than R1 billion in 1998 to R544 billion in 2021. By the end of 2022, the total volume of bilateral trade stood at R614 billion. There are approximately 42 South African companies invested in China in various sectors.

The Deputy Minister will conclude her visit in Shanghai, where she will chair a meeting with South African and Chinese companies, which aims to explore new investment opportunities between the two countries.



The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Alvin Botes, on Thursday, 18 May 2023, hosted his United Kingdom (UK) counterpart, Andrew Mitchell, Minister of State for Development and Africa of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for bilateral talks.
The meeting discussed various bilateral, regional and international issues as well as preparations for the 13th Session of the South Africa-UK Bilateral Forum to be hosted by Minister Naledi Pandor in the latter half of 2023.

Bilateral relations between South Africa and the UK are managed through the Bilateral Forum, which was established in 1997. The forum meets biennially at the level of Foreign Minister.

The various programmes of cooperation between South Africa and the UK are closely linked to the country’s national priorities and the State Visit by President Cyril Ramaphosa to the UK in November 2022 was an important step in reconfirming and cementing the strong bonds between the two countries.

The UK is one of South Africa’s most important trade and investment partners. From 2012 to 2021, total trade between South Africa and the UK increased from approximately R56.3 billion to approximately R148.5 billion, a percentage increase of 163.8%. On average, total exports from South Africa to the UK increased by 20% annually over the 10-year period ending in 2021. For the year 2022, South Africa exported goods to the value of R102 452 855 179 and imported goods to the value of R 29 718 110 249.

The UK is South Africa’s number one source of long-haul tourism in the world, a position it has not relinquished for the past 19 years. UK tourists to South Africa have a very high repeat visitor rate, and 67% of visitors who have been to South Africa return.



Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, will this week attend the 76th World Health Assembly (WHA) taking place at the “Palais des Nations” in Geneva, Switzerland.
The annual WHA is the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation (WHO), attended by delegations from all the WHO's 194 member states.

This year's WHA, from 21 to 30 May 2023, is held under the theme “Saving Lives, Driving Health for All”, as the WHO turns 75 and focusses on a specific health agenda, including Universal Health Coverage, public health emergencies, especially the pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. 

This year’s session of the assembly will determine the immediate and longer-term future of WHO, starting with the programme budget for the next two years, key decisions about the sustainable financing of the organisation and changes put in place to improve the WHO’s processes and accountability.

Delegates will also deliberate about the critical role that WHO plays in the Global Health Emergency Architecture and discuss effectiveness and efficiency of WHO in providing better support to countries.

The department said Minister Phaahla would attend and participate in several sessions and other health activities.

“He will use the opportunity to hold bilateral engagements with other global leaders, including a bilateral meeting with the United States (US) Secretary on Health, Xavier Becerra,” the department said in a statement.

Since the country’s transition to democracy in 1994, the US Government has partnered with the South African Government to strengthen the country’s healthcare system; providing HIV/AIDS testing, treatment, and care for millions of South Africans.

The two counties entered into a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2022 to establish a Bilateral Health Forum to provide a platform for discussing the broad range of health programmes, partnerships and other collaborations between the participants in South Africa.

– Source:



Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has received, on behalf of the department, the prestigious International Social Security Association (ISSA) Good Practice Award in Social Security for Africa 2023.
The Minister received the award at the ISSA Regional Social Security Forum for Africa Awards Ceremony, held on Wednesday, 17 May 2023, in Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire.

South Africa participated in the ISSA Regional Social Security Forum, held from 17 to 19 May 2023. For the Good Practice Award, a total of 138 entries were received from 48 member institutions in over 30 countries in Africa.

The Good Practice Award on the entry entitled, “Gradual Extension of Social Security Coverage to Vulnerable Children: The Case of the Child Support Grant, South Africa”, recognises South Africa’s efforts in extending social security coverage to vulnerable children.

During the forum, South Africa showcased interventions implemented to ensure that the social security system provides much-needed protection to vulnerable children.

The new Government introduced the Child Support Grant (CSG) in 1998 to replace the racially based State Maintenance Grant, which had been in existence from the 1930s, providing income protection to white families, excluding most black families and their children.

The new grant removed the racially discriminatory features, which expanded coverage to all eligible children.

Subject to a means test threshold, the CSG was introduced at a value of R100 and has increased over the years to R500, as of 1 April 2023. The grant has grown over the years, with an increase in the age limit from seven to 18 years old, with just over 13 million children now receiving it monthly, amounting to approximately R76 billion per annum.

As from 1 June 2022, the department introduced a supplementary provision, as an additional payment to the CSG, to the value of R250, bringing the total amount to R750.

This was introduced to assist relatives taking care of orphans and children living in child-headed households to provide for their basic needs and promote family preservation.

“We view the CSG as an investment government is making in the lives of our children, especially those from poor and vulnerable households. The State continues to play a pivotal role in the social protection of children, ranging from social grants to free schooling and free healthcare, among others,” Minister Zulu said.

At the same award ceremony, the department’s agency, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), received two certificates of Merit with Special Mention on:

  • Social Relief of Distress for victims affected by regional floods in the KwaZulu-Natal province
  • Social Relief of Distress: Social assistance for people in distress at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

SASSA also received a Certificate of Merit for the introduction of electronic deductions on funeral insurance premiums for social grants beneficiaries.

ISSA is a world-leading international organisation for social security institutions, government departments and agencies. It was founded in 1927 under the auspices of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Today, it has over 320 member institutions from over 160 countries.

Cooperation on social security

On Friday, 19 May, Minister Zulu participated in the joint session of the African Union (AU)-ISSA Regional Social Security Summit, which featured other African states, the AU Commissioner on Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development and the ILO.

The summit featured the official launch of the Africa Social Security Institutions Coordination and Cooperation Forum.

Speaking ahead of the summit, Minister Zulu said: “South Africa looks forward to sharing our commitment to extension of social security coverage to all from a human rights perspective, and ensuring that the state of the people is improved through social-economic development.

"This is in line with achieving the aspirations of Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want."

Minister Zulu used the Abidjan visit to meet with her counterparts responsible for employment and social protection, as well as solidarity and the fight against poverty, having recently signed a partnership agreement with the latter on Comprehensive Social Security, Poverty Eradication and Development Welfare Services.

The Minister reiterated the importance of African countries sharing best practices on social security-related matters to improve the well-being of all African people and further reiterated the need to accelerate the implementation of reforms and foster cooperation among all stakeholders within this sector.

– Source:



The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and Denmark have entered into another agreement of cooperation in innovation and management of water services between the two countries.
The DWS, the Danish Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Higher Education and Science (MHES), the Department of Science and Innovation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through their Danish Embassy, signed a three-year agreement for Phase III of the collaboration on behalf of the Republic of South Africa and Denmark Strategic Sector Cooperation (SSC).

Phase III aims to further strengthen long-term relations between the department and Denmark’s MHES and Science and Innovation.

The department said Phase II of the South African-Danish Strategic Water Sector Programme (RSA-DK SWSP), which had been under implementation since May 2016, was finalised last year.

“The agreement, which was signed by the DWS Deputy Director-General, Risimati Mathye, representing South Africa, and his Danish counterpart, Per Skriver, from the Ministry of Environment, will run from May 2023 to April 2026.

“The programme consists of five parts, namely, Water Services Management, Groundwater, Water Efficiency in Industries, Research and Innovation, and a Project Support Facility focussing on investment planning and financing for water-related projects,” the department said.

The department explained that each part was led by representatives from DWS and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which have implemented projects relating to improving municipal water costing, non-revenue water management, groundwater mapping and wellfield management, to name a few.

“After the phase is concluded, the outcomes expected included a shared and gained knowledge on water policy-making and reform, as well as a consolidated and mutually agreed work plan for the Strategic Sector Cooperation between the two countries.”

– Source:



Grace Matlhape, CEO of the early learning programme SmartStart, said that she was honoured to be a finalist nominee for the Africa Education Medal 2023 – Africa’s most prestigious education accolade.
The award, founded by T4 Education and HP in collaboration with Microsoft, is given to outstanding individuals who have demonstrated impact, leadership and advocacy in the field of education. Matlhape is one of just two South Africans named as a top 10 finalist for this year’s award.

“For those of us who work in education, the success of the country’s youth is one of the most important indications of how well we are doing. In addition to being a personal milestone, this nomination is confirmation that SmartStart is making a real and measurable impact on people’s lives. It also highlights the essential nature of our mission, which is to enable the potential of children and women by providing affordable access to quality early learning across South Africa,” says Matlhape.

Matlhape is a veteran in the social impact and development space. Before SmartStart, she was the CEO of loveLife, an organisation that tackled the high rate of HIV infections among young people in South Africa. A qualified social worker, Matlhape also has experience in forensic psychiatry, mental health and psycho-social support. Previously, she served as the Executive Director for the Wits Mental Health Society for seven years, as well as the Director of Programmes at the Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa.

“Grace is driven by deep care and commitment towards social justice by enabling the potential of young children, youth, and women – she is a pioneer in effecting change. Under her leadership, over 145 000 children have been enrolled in the SmartStart early learning programme. This number represents only a fraction of the actual impact made by the organisation, when it comes to expanding access to early learning and enabling the creation of livelihoods, for predominantly young black women in poor communities,” says Executive Chair at Yellowwoods Group, Adrian Enthoven, who motivated for Matlhape as a finalist.

Since its inception in 2015, SmartStart has built a network of over 90 000 parents and caregivers across all nine provinces. Leveraging a decentralised social franchise model, the organisation has trained over 15 000 early learning practitioners – of which the majority are women – and set up over 9 000 of them in micro social enterprises to fill the gap in early learning service provision. By 2030, SmartStart aims to reach one million children between the ages of three and five annually.

“The African Education Medal recognises that education is the foundation of an inclusive and successful society. I celebrate and admire the work of all of the esteemed finalists – we all share a common vision of a better, more equitable world where access to learning is a given, not something to be fought for,” says Matlhape.

The award recognised Matlhape as a pioneer working to transform education on the African continent. Fellow South African Mary Metcalfe, Executive Director of the Programme to Improve Learning Outcomes, is also one of the finalists. Finalists will be assessed by a jury comprising prominent individuals based on rigorous criteria. The winner of the Africa Education Medal will be announced in July.

– Source:



Over 400 cities around the world competed in this year’s City Nature Challenge, and Cape Town scooped second place.
Hundreds of participating cities battled it out recently for the City Nature Challenge, but only a handful were crowned the cream of the biodiversity crop.

The challenge, which has its roots in California, began as healthy competition between cities and science lovers as they sought to discover urban bio-diversity, spotting species and “secret” residents.

Years later, the competition is now a fully-fledged global one, with 482 cities competitors going toe-to-toe around the world this year.

From the coastal species of Athens to bustling Taiwanese hubs, this year’s City Nature Challenge saw 1 870 763 observations recorded and appreciated.

As for South Africa, numerous local regions took part, including Buffalo City, Johannesburg, KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast, the Garden Route, Potchefstroom and of course, Cape Town.

Cape Town scooped second place overall with 52 518 observations and 3 847 species across the city, coming second only to La Paz, Bolivia, with 126 435 observations.

Last year, Cape Town also nabbed second place, following an epic 2021, when the city was crowned first out of just 150 countries.

Thousands of Cape Town’s curious took part in this year’s run, with plenty of natural reserves and open spaces filled with excited spectators over the four-day exploration session.

“Cape Town, you did great in capturing the natural heritage in our city this year. The results are in and your encounters with the beautiful plant and animal life in our natural surroundings have earned us second place out of 482 cities around the world that also participated in the City Nature Challenge,” shared the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.

– Source:



The Table Bay Hotel, an iconic landmark in Cape Town, has been honoured as one of the “most loved and memorable” hotels in the world.
Travellers have been staying at the Table Bay Hotel since May 1997 and loving it. The luxury hotel was recently honoured by customers of British Airways Holidays, being called one of the “most loved” and “memorable” stays.

The holidaymakers have ranked the elegant 5-star hotel in the V&A Waterfront as among the best in the world. The honour was handed out as part of the British Airways Holidays Customer Excellence Awards 2022, which are based on feedback from travellers who rate their hotel experience out of five stars across categories such as location, service and value for money.

The accolade also recognises facilities and customer experiences offered by hotels around the world. Because the feedback is unsolicited, the awards are trusted.

The hotel’s General Manager, Joanne Selby, said she and her team went to great lengths to ensure that every aspect of a guest’s stay is pure perfection.

“Whether our guests come from near or from far, whether it is their first visit or whether they have returned multiple times, they will all receive a truly warm Cape Town welcome from us. We pride ourselves on exceeding their expectations, and we measure our success by the number of guests who keep returning because they loved every minute of their stay with us.”

Reviews are collected from genuine customers via Feefo – an independent and impartial third-party company. Customers are asked to score hotels based on location, service, cleanliness and sleep quality, as well as provide an overall score out of five stars.

British Airways Holidays gathered over 67 000 independent reviews and awarded 540 Customer Excellence Awards across the globe to recognise their top-rated hotels for 2022.

Claire Bentley, Managing Director of British Airways Holidays, congratulated The Table Bay Hotel, saying “thank you for taking holidays seriously and providing our customers with everything they need to relax, rejuvenate and switch off”.

– Source:



The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) has funded eight South African filmmakers to participate in this year's Cannes Film Festival for film screenings, panel sessions and project pitching opportunities.
Some of the South African films participating at the festival are Ninja Moon Showdown, The Omen, Extravagant Ways to Say Goodbye, The Last Days of Elizabeth Costello, Riel and Moments of Dying, among others.

The NFVF, an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, is positioning the South African film industry at the 76th edition of the Festival de Cannes, that started last week and ends on 27 May 2023.

For this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the NFVF has partnered with Wesgro, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation and the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission.

Positioning South Africa as a film destination of choice

“It is a great honour for the NFVF and the talented filmmakers that we have funded to be part of the cultural and economic melting pot that is the Cannes Film Festival,” says Thobela Mayinje, NFVF Acting CEO.

“One of our objectives at the festival this year is to encourage and foster co-production opportunities, while also positioning South Africa as a filming destination of choice for foreign productions,” adds Mayinje.

During the festival, the NFVF hosted a panel session with the theme Positioning SA as a Film Destination of Choice.

The session focussed on positioning South Africa as a production destination of choice and included different industry role players. This includes the promotion of the South African public finance institutions by attracting inwards investment and offering tax and rebate incentives that are favourable to foreign productions.

Audio-visual Co-Production Treaty

South Africa’s film participation in this year’s festival is more significant following the signing of the amended Audio-visual Co-Production Treaty between South Africa and France in 2022.

The amended treaty accommodates features, short films and serialised content for all platforms, including television and digital content. This has paved the way for a broader offering from the South African film industry to the Cannes Film Festival.

– Source:



The Backstreet Boys are on their way home after ending their world tour in South Africa.
Everyone's favourite boy band from the 90s landed in South Africa earlier this month and spent time playing golf, shark cage diving and more during their visit.

They performed two shows in Cape Town before playing their final shows of the entire tour in Pretoria at the weekend.

"After 4 years, 218 shows, 3 million tickets sold, and 44 countries across 6 continents, the DNA World Tour has finally come to a close," reads the caption of a reel on the Backstreet Boys' Instagram page.

"This was the most perfect way to celebrate 30 years, and we are so thankful to everyone who made it out to these shows - you make what we do so special, and we couldn't be here without you. We love you, and we'll see you soon."

In addition to the end-of-tour announcement, three members of the band – consisting of Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean and cousins Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson – shared their messages of thanks on their respective social media pages.

McLean shared his farewell message in a video on Saturday before the band's final show at the SunBet Arena.

"Thank you to every single fan around the world for coming out to see the show. Thank you to our amazing crew that makes this show possible. Thank you to our amazing security team that has kept us safe. Thank you to management, thank you to our booking agent. Thank you to our publicist, and thank you to our entire team," he wrote in the caption.

"Fellas, it's been a blast being on the road with you guys for four years. I wouldn't have it any other way."

"Thank you for being the best fans in the world. We'll be seeing you soon," Carter wrote alongside a video shared on Instagram.

Meanwhile, Littrell shared a selfie and said he was looking forward to "new music, new endeavours, and well-needed rest" after spending four years on the road.

During their final tour stop, the Backstreet Boys tried to see more than just the stadium they performed at.

While their first day in South Africa was spent at a rugby game, they also visited Signal Hill. And, in the days leading up to their first show in Cape Town, Carter and Richardson went shark cage diving in Gansbaai while McLean played a round of golf.

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Proteas netball captain Bongi Msomi will lead a South African side that is filled with an exciting mix of youth and experience at the 2023 Netball World Cup held in Cape Town in July.

The 15 South African squad members were named in Johannesburg on Friday evening, 19 May 2023, where Netball South Africa president, Cecilia Molokwane, read out the names of youngsters Nicholé Taljaard, Elmere van der Berg, Sesandile Owethu Ngubane, Nicola Smith and Jeante Strydom.

Within that brimming youth, though, head coach Norma Plummer made sure that the spine of the team remained intact, with Msomi, Karla Pretorius, Phumza Maweni and Lenize Potgieter forming an experienced core.

However, Boitumelo Mahloko, Zanele Vimbela and Monique Reyneke-Meyer, who were part of South Africa's Quad Series against Australia, England and New Zealand in January in Cape Town where South Africa finished fourth were left out.

The Netball World Cup will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 28 July to 6 August, where 16 of the world's best netball countries will vie for the ultimate prize, to be world champion.

Proteas Netball World Cup squad

Bongi Msomi (captain)

Karla Pretorius (vice-captain)

Khanyisa Chawane

Izette Griesel

Sesandile Owethu Ngubane

Refiloe Nketsa

Phumza Maweni

Lenize Potgieter

Lefebre Rademan

Nicola Smith

Jeante Strydom

Nicholé Taljaard

Elmere van der Berg

Shadine van der Merwe

Ine-Mari Venter

South Africa finished a highly commendable fourth at the last showpiece in the United Kingdom in 2019, where they lost narrowly to Australia in the semi-finals before losing the bronze medal playoff to hosts England.

The hosts have been drawn into the same group with Jamaica in Pool C, their strongest rivals for a top four place, as well as Wales and Sri Lanka.

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KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, says Durban is ready to dish out its authentic African hospitality to 600 athletes participating in the International Table Tennis Finals (ITTF) held in Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC).
“Our vast experience in hosting global events such as the launch of the African Union, FIFA World Cup preliminary draw and finals and the Comrades Marathon will give you a sporting experience of a lifetime,” Premier Dube-Ncube said.

Speaking at the official opening of the 2023 World Table Tennis Championships on Saturday, Dube-Ncube highlighted that as KwaZulu-Natal repositions to become a Smart Province, they are equally transposing the province to become the sporting mecca of the world and “we will continue to attract more global events of this nature in the future”.

She said South Africa might be ranked 93rd in the Table Tennis nations, but “we are the country and continent of champions. We are champions in our own right”.

“Our winning started on 28 September 2020 when South Africa was awarded the rights to host the finals; we became only the second African country to host this prestigious event since Egypt, 84 years ago.

“We have been hard at work preparing for this day. Yes, together we have done it for the peoples of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Africa and the world,” the Premier said.

Taking place from 20 – 28 May 2023, the ITTF is the largest and most prestigious table tennis event held annually and attracts over 500 million viewers globally.

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Switching lecture halls for the deep blue, a university lecturer from Gqeberha set a new record for free diving at a Free-diving World Cup in Egypt.
Recently, Dr Gletwyn Rubidge of Nelson Mandela University’s Chemistry Faculty had the world holding its breath as he ventured metres down into the deep blue during the Aida Free-diving World Cup’s May Edition in Egypt.

The competition is a six-day long splash with various events, where free divers from around the world get their chance to showcase their skills against all oxygen-odds.

On day two, Rubidge plunged 83 metres deep on one dose of air in the same time it’d take most microwave meals to heat up: 2 minutes and 50 seconds part of the free immersion fixture.

Freediving World shared that his incredible time created a new national record, and soon the Apnea Centre was washed with South African pride.

This isn’t Rubidge’s first time setting new records either. In 2019, he broke three South African records at another international competition and earned South African colours for free diving in the same breath.

Meanwhile, another South African smashed a decades-old track record recently with Adrian Wildschutt putting the previous time-to-beat to bed in California.

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Springbok No 8 Jasper Wiese has scooped the English Premiership Players' Player of the Year accolade.
Wiese was honoured with the award at the Rugby Players' Association awards dinner on Wednesday night, 17 May 2023.

The 27-year-old helped Leicester Tigers to the Premiership semi-finals and the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup.

He fended off stiff competition from Newcastle wing Mateo Carreras, Saracens flanker Ben Earl, Northampton scrumhalf Alex Mitchell, and London Irish loose forward Tom Pearson.

Wiese, capped 20 times by the Springboks, scored six tries and made 130 tackles, 11 offloads, and 218 carries ‒ the fourth-highest in the Premiership.

"It's very humbling to be named the winner of such a prestigious and special award.

"I'd like to thank the players from around the competition for voting for me, and I just want to thank my Leicester teammates for their support too," Wiese said.

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Rugby will test using data from "smart" balls to assist match officials at the upcoming Under-20 World Cup in South Africa in June and July.

The balls, which were introduced in some matches last year, have technology inside which communicates data with beacons around the field.

The technology, said World Rugby in a statement, would “determine the exact position of the ball up to 20 times per second and provide immediate feedback on every kick, pass and throw."

In South Africa, the technology will be used by replay officials to identify forward passes, whether the ball crossed the tryline, where it crossed the touchline, when it was touched in flight and if a throw-in was straight.

"A direct feed will be made available to the Television Match Official, who will be able to use the information to provide feedback to the referee," said the statement.

The technology will not be used at the 2023 World Cup in France in September and October, World Rugby said.

"A fast game is a good game, and it is right that we explore technology that has the potential to help aid the flow of the game, reduce stoppage time and speed up match official decision-making," said World Rugby Director of Rugby, Phil Davies.

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