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On Monday, 29 May 2023, President Cyril Ramaphosa attended the inauguration of President-Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

President Ramaphosa joined a number of his continental counterparts who attended the occasion.

“President’s participation will demonstrate continuity in the strategic relationship between South Africa and Nigeria,” Cabinet said in a statement on Thursday, 25 May 2023.

South Africa and Nigeria maintain a strategic partnership in pursuit of strengthened bilateral cooperation and towards the fostering of peace, stability and economic development on the continent. 

The two countries share a common vision on issues of political and economic integration in Africa, the need for sustainable conflict resolution and the need for the reform of multilateral institutions, especially the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

South Africa and Nigeria are engaged in growing economic cooperation, as evidenced by increasing trade and mutual investments.

The two countries account for approximately a third of Africa’s economic output, with each accounting for 60% to 70% of the economies in their sub-regions.

Nigeria is South Africa’s biggest trade partner in West Africa. A broad range of South African firms have invested in Nigeria, while Nigerian companies are also developing a footprint in South Africa.



President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated the President of the Republic of Türkiye, His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, following his successful election.
Türkiye held its presidential and parliamentary elections on 14 May 2023, followed by a runoff in the presidential election on Sunday, 28 May 2023. President Erdoğan was successfully elected in the runoff.

President Ramaphosa said South Africa looked forward to working with Türkiye under President Erdoğan to consolidate existing strong relations at bilateral and multilateral levels.

Formal relations between South Africa and Turkey were established in 1991.

South Africa and Türkiye share common platforms in multilateral fora such as the G20 and the International Atomic Energy Agency and are active participants in the various organs of the United Nations to which both countries belong.



President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the African continent to continue to unite in the spirit of the founding charter of the African Union.
The President was speaking at the Africa Day celebrations at the Cradle of Humankind on Thursday, 25 May 2023.

The day is a commemoration of the founding of the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) in 1963.

“We observe Africa Day to remind ourselves of the resilience we possess as Africans, which has taken us from where we have come into the future. We observe Africa Day to celebrate our unity as Africans, and to remind ourselves of the responsibility we all share to bring about an Africa that is peaceful, prosperous and united,” he said.

President Ramaphosa highlighted that the founding charter of the OAU still bore relevance to modern-day Africa.

“The charter called for the harnessing of the natural and human resources of our continent for the total advancement of Africans. It called for the building of understanding and solidarity between African countries, to build a larger unity “transcending ethnic and national differences".

“It called on African countries to safeguard and consolidate their hard-won independence, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and for resistance against neo-colonialism in all its forms,” he said.

The President cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a “trauma” for Africa but also as an example of what the continent could achieve when resources are mobilised for the greater good of Africa.

“But this worst health emergency in living memory did not destroy Africa, because Africans came together and acted as one. The African Union developed a continental response and implemented it with urgency across all the regions of the continent.

“Our collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic gave new momentum to the cause of African integration. We learned as Africans that we have the means, the capacity and the political will to develop and implement solutions to Africa’s challenges,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President spoke out strongly against xenophobia and discrimination in South Africa.

“Even as we South Africans exercise our national pride, this can never be an excuse to turn against other Africans who live in our midst or have sought refuge in our country. Let us find strength in our diversity. Let us forever strive to find the common ground that unites us as Africans, instead of seeking out what divides us.

“In the words of the African Union Anthem: let us unite and celebrate together the victories won, let us defend our liberty and unity, and let us uphold the bonds that frame our destiny,” he said.

Turning to conflicts on the continent and abroad, President Ramaphosa once again called for the resolution of conflicts by negotiation and dialogue.

He said the continent was “being dragged into conflicts far beyond our own border”.

“Some countries, including our own, are being threatened with penalties for pursuing an independent foreign policy and for adopting a position of non-alignment. As African countries, we have painful memories of a time when proxy wars were waged on the soils of Africa by foreign superpowers.

“We have not forgotten the terrible, brutal legacy of first having our continent carved up and colonised by European countries, only to find ourselves once more pawns on a chessboard during the Cold War.

“We are not going back to that period in history. That is why I will say it again today. South Africa has not been, and will not be, drawn into a contest between global powers. We will maintain our position on the peaceful resolution of conflict wherever those conflicts occur.

“Guided by the lessons of our history, we will continue to resist calls to abandon our independent and non-aligned foreign policy,” he said.

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Deputy President Paul Mashatile says government will continue to support peace missions in South Sudan.
The Deputy President was on Thursday, 25 May 2023, responding to oral questions in Parliament about progress on the land reform programme, coalition governments and his role as the President’s envoy on South Sudan.

He explained that the mandate of the Special Envoy to South Sudan differed from that of South Africa’s Ambassador.

“The latter deals with normal bilateral relations between the two countries. The Special Envoy, on the other hand, is tasked with assisting in the search for durable peace in South Sudan.”

The immediate task of the Special Envoy, he said, was to help the parties to the Transitional Government of National Unity in South Sudan with the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan.

The power-sharing agreement was signed between the warring parties in August 2018 in a bid to end the five-year civil war.

“The work of the Special Envoy contributes to the effort to silence the guns.”

According to the Deputy President, it also seeks to complement the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations in the search for peace in South Sudan, the region and the wider African continent.

In the coming weeks and months, he announced, he would engage with various parties to the conflict. These include South Sudan’s neighbours, members of the AU High-Level Ad Hoc Committee for South Sudan, also known as the C5, which South Africa chairs, and other relevant players.

“The attainment of peace in South Sudan will help to stabilise an already strained Horn of Africa region, with its various levels of social and political conflicts within and between countries.

“Peace must also lead to the development effort, which should, in turn, contribute to the material upliftment of the people. It should also help to address a plethora of social and political problems, including stemming the phenomenon of migration.”

Deputy President Mashatile described South Sudan as one of the world’s most fertile pieces of real estate with abundant water, which goes to waste yearly.

“Apart from oil, the country’s precious rare earths and other minerals have similarly hardly been exploited. South Sudan has all it takes to become one of the economic hubs in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. But only if we can bring peace.”

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South Africa has lent its support to the candidature of the Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania, Dr Tulia Ackson, to be the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
“We believe that the IPU needs a young and vibrant person with new ideas to take the IPU forward and ensure that transformation takes place where necessary.

“Dr Ackson has the necessary expertise for the role,” Mapisa-Nqakula said on Monday, 29 May 2023.

Mapisa-Nqakula led the South African parliamentary delegation to the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) Executive Committee (EXCO) meeting in Mahe, Seychelles, from 27 to 28 May 2023.

She said other SADC countries will start lobbying other groups within the continent to support Dr Ackson’s candidature, who is also the Chairperson of the Africa Geo-Political Group.

The IPU is the global organisation of national parliaments. It empowers parliaments and parliamentarians to promote peace, democracy and sustainable development.

Mapisa-Nqakula described the outcomes of the EXCO meeting as a positive step towards the establishment of the SADC Parliamentary Forum that will be well-placed to champion the accelerated integration and development of the region and its people.

The two-day meeting considered and endorsed several progress reports on the execution of its programme of action, which includes economic integration, ratification of the SADC PF protocol by various national parliaments, and the state of readiness for the 53rd SADC Parliamentary Forum Plenary Assembly Session, scheduled to take place in Dar es Salaam from 2 to 8 July 2023. 

The meeting also endorsed a number of proposals, including the establishment of a learning institute using a SADC PF facility in Namibia.

It supported calls for united African parliaments to ensure that the continent features a single candidate to canvas for the IPU presidency during the IPU Assembly, scheduled to take place in Angola in October this year.

The proposal received the support of most SADC member parliaments at EXCO level, with the exception of Malawi.

Promoting unity

The EXCO also noted with concern the tendency of African parliaments that adopt different positions on critical matters necessary for the continent’s development at global multilateral fora, such as the IPU, and urged all member parliaments to prioritise continental unity.

Emphasis was placed on the need for Africans to prioritise issues relevant to the development challenges plaguing the continent.

It emerged that most of the time, Africa gets to the IPU and ends up endorsing emergency items imposed on the Africa Geo-Political Group by other regional blocs. 

As a region, the EXCO has agreed that this is a matter that has to be raised at the level of the Geo-Political Group.

Mapisa-Nqakula said Africa must be better organised and coordinated to ensure that it supports one emergency item at the IPU.

“[We] will have to compromise where it is necessary and focus on issues that really affect the continent in a profound way,” the Speaker said.

This will also ensure that the serious challenges facing the continent, which include the conflict in Sudan and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, will receive the necessary attention.

“These conflicts affect the lives of women and children, with the Sudan conflict described as having even far-reaching destructive consequences on Sudanese civilians.

“This challenge of conflict is part of the issues we believe should be discussed so that when we get there, we understand as a region what should be our priority to support,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.

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The application submitted by Cape Flora SA to protect the name “Cape Flora” and its logo has been approved and published in the “Government Gazette”.
This was announced by Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, on Thursday, 25 May 2023.

He said the next step would be for Cape Flora SA to apply for a Geographical Indication (GI) and the industry was considering this.

GIs are signs or logos identifying goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess a given quality, reputation or other characteristic that is essentially attributable to that origin. Rooibos, Honeybush and Karoo Lamb all are registered GIs and are subject to international protection.

“The industry is an important niche and has the potential to grow and expand, off the back of growing global demand.

“The fact that more and more fynbos cut-flower production is starting abroad, means that the protection of the name Cape Flora SA and logo is important so that our unique products and quality can be easily recognised, whether they are used for a wedding in Japan or an office in the UK,” said the Minister.

South Africa is currently the third-largest exporter of cut flowers on the African continent with exports of over R1.7 billion in 2021.

Cape Flora SA, the fynbos cut-flower association, says South African flower exports are dominated by the indigenous flora  ̶  proteas, pincushions and greens  ̶  most of which are cultivated in the Western and Eastern Cape, but also sustainably harvested from the veld.

“The Cape Floristic Region is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world and therefore contains incredible species diversity,” it said.

The manager of Cape Flora, Karien Bezuidenhout, said the “growth of the export market has triggered modernisation and innovation within the industry, leading to higher product quality. In turn, this has benefitted sales in domestic and international markets”.

Primary fynbos cut-flower production in South Africa is currently valued at almost R1 billion, with 30 million stems being exported from the Western Cape every year.

The industry provides direct employment to close to 2 500 people and the biggest proportion of them are women from rural areas.

The department said exported products amounted to R766 million per year and the European Union is the main market (67% of exports), but there has been an increase in exports to the Middle and Far East (combined 24% of exports) in recent years.

“Even though many other countries, like Australia, Israel and Ecuador, also export fynbos cut-flowers, South Africa is seen as the pioneer and leader in fynbos cut-flower production,” said the department.

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The Health Ministry has congratulated Cuban on its 60th anniversary of international medical support and cooperation to save lives through dedicated medical brigades around the world.

South Africa is among over 100 nations that benefitted from social solidarity, excellent internationalism and medical cooperation with Cuba through medical doctors and specialists, which immensely contributed to the country’s health system strengthening and pandemic response.

According to a statement released recently, South Africa has benefitted from this impactful support since 1997 through both medical specialists who have been seconded to the country and the Nelson Mandela Fidel Castro Medical Training Programme.

The programme produced over 3 000 medical doctors who graduated from various Cuban universities and were largely employed in underserved communities.

The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, described South Africa as one of the lucky nations to benefit from this global health cooperation, which complements the country’s medical schools to produce the much-needed medical specialists in a quest for government to address the shortage of doctors, especially in the historically underserved areas.

“South Africa would not have benefitted from this fruitful cooperation if it were not for the efforts by the globally admired revolutionary freedom fighters of the two countries, Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro, who believed that health was the biggest wealth anybody could have.

“Having an educated and trained workforce is not sufficient, but physical and mental well-being is necessary for productivity,” said Deputy Minister Dhlomo.

– Source:



The Communication and Information System (GCIS) has offered its sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of broadcaster, writer and political commentator, Eusebius McKaiser, who passed away suddenly on Tuesday, 30 May 2023.
GCIS Acting Director-General, Michael Currin, said: “This is a deeply sad moment for the communication sector in our country, including government communicators with whom he interacted on many platforms.

“Eusebius McKaiser’s untimely death has robbed his family and his audiences of someone who lived life large and who was a forthright public voice against discrimination, inequality, prejudice and corruption.

“He was passionate about changing the lives of people and leveraged every communication channel at his disposal to have his fearless say on matters of public interest and to create spaces where fellow citizens could express themselves.

“Eusebius was a close and critical student of our socio-political landscape and his contribution to our understanding of society will be missed.”

McKaiser, who was a regular contributor to TimesLIVE, was born in Makhanda to a family of little means. He first enrolled at Rhodes University in 1997 to study towards a BA in Law and Philosophy. An Honours and then a Masters' in Philosophy, both with distinction, followed before he was selected for a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University.




According to the recently released inaugural "Brand Finance City Index", Cape Town has been named Africa's leading city brand and secured the 60th position globally. Following closely behind is Johannesburg, ranking 72nd. The index named London as the best city brand in the world, followed by New York and Paris.

The rankings, presented by brand evaluation consultancy Brand Finance, are the result of a comprehensive global survey conducted in April 2023. Nearly 15 000 members of the public from 20 countries across all continents participated in the survey, sharing their perceptions of the top 100 cities worldwide.

Cape Town's position as a prominent city in Africa stems from its position as the most frequented destination in South Africa, highly regarded and sought-after by travellers. The city's natural beauty comprising coastline, mountains and diverse landscapes contributes to making it one of the world's most attractive tourist destinations.

The city boasts a wealth of cultural heritage, ranking 33rd for its diversity, multiculturalism, warm hospitality and thrilling attractions. Furthermore, Cape Town secures the 15th spot for affordability and the 18th spot for pleasant weather, solidifying its appeal to tourists worldwide.

To provide a thorough evaluation of the city brands in the ranking, alongside measuring familiarity, the survey asked respondents about the overall reputation of each city and their personal opinions regarding living, local and remote work opportunities, studying, retiring, visiting and investing in each location.

The evaluation of preferences across these seven dimensions was complemented by perceptions of 45 underlying attributes associated with city branding. These attributes were categorised into seven pillars, including business and investment and sustainability and transport.

Future growth potential

Despite facing ongoing socio-economic challenges, Cape Town has ranked positively for the attribute of future growth potential, ranking 18th globally. This is largely attributed to the city's thriving tourism industry, which not only presents opportunities for economic expansion but also facilitates job creation.

Additionally, Cape Town's strategic location as a major port and transportation hub within South Africa provides a gateway to trade and investment prospects, particularly with emerging markets across the African continent.

– Source:



Hotel operator Southern Sun said recently it swung back into profit in its year to end-March, boosted by a recovery in the tourism industry, and it's still seeing some encouraging trends.
The company reported a profit of R1 billion for its six months to end-March, from a loss of R156 million previously, with its free cash flow from operations more than tripling, while it cut its debt by R1.5 billion to R1.3 billion.

Valued at about R6.2 billion on the JSE, the group operates over 90 hotels and resorts under a number of brands, with its portfolio including 54 on Bath, the Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton Towers and the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga.

Trading levels continued to recover, particularly in the second half of the financial year, as local and international travel patterns normalised and demand for conferencing and events increased, it said. All regions performed well and exceeded pre-COVID-19 levels except the Sandton node, reflecting the delayed recovery in corporate travel exacerbated by many companies in the node still operating a hybrid remote-working model.

Southern Sun CEO, Marcel von Aulock, said during an investor presentation that South Africa hotels remained cheap when considered in international terms, with the company encouraged by recent trends.

"The year ended a lot better than we had possibly hoped this time last year," he said, adding that trading "absolutely took off in the second half of the year." Profits are now up from pre-COVID-19 levels, even though occupancies haven't fully recovered, pointing to further upside potential for the group.

"We started COVID-19 with R3.3 billion in debt, so we managed to bring it down by R2 billion ... without a rights issue, something which we are very, very, pleased about."

Southern Sun reported its occupancy rose to 51.5% in 2023, up from 30.6% in the prior year, but down from 59.3% achieved in its year to end-March 2020. In 2020, it reported a loss of R1.22 billion, amid exceptional losses of R1.7 billion, mostly related to fair value losses.

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Van Ryn’s 15-year-old potstill brandy has been awarded as the World’s Best Wine Brandy this year, joining several other South African brands at the awards.
Locally produced Van Ryn’s 15-year-old potstill brandy has been awarded as the World’s Best Wine Brandy at the 2023 World Brandy Awards announced in London, beating fierce competition from France, the United States, Australia and South Africa’s most prominent brandy producers.

This is the second consecutive year that Van Ryn’s has been awarded this prestigious accolade and the third in four years. In 2022, Van Ryn’s 20-year-old potstill brandy was announced as the World’s Best Wine Brandy, and in 2020 Van Ryn’s 12-year-old potstill brandy achieved the same title.

Hosted by, the World Brandy Awards reward the finest brandies from around the world, tasting each entry blind and scoring the brandies according to nose, palate and finish, balance, character, complexity and overall quality.

The panel of international judges praised Van Ryn’s 15-year-old potstill brandy as “A symphony of aromas unfold, very complex and also well balanced between the scents. Big and powerful but still elegant. Great.”

An overjoyed master blender, Marlene Bester, says this latest World’s Best title is truly the highlight of her career.

“Brandies are appealing to a new generation who embrace authenticity, gravitate towards products with a story to tell, and migrate to those that have the credentials. These World’s Best accolades achieved over the past four years, segment our commitment to innovation, quality and the art of crafting exceptional brandy, building on our reputation as one of the world’s leading fine brandy houses.”

The Van Ryn’s 15-year-old brandy is fragrant with notes of cigar box, orange peel and balanced oak. Dark chocolate, warm spice, integrated oak and fruit create a creamy and complex finish. Enjoy neat, on the rocks or as the base for a range of refreshing and innovative cocktails.

The finalists for the World’s Best Wine Brandy award were:

Van Ryn’s 15-Year-Old Potstill Brandy, South Africa – Gold

Van Ryn’s 20-Year-Old Potstill Brandy, South Africa – Silver

KWV 10-Year-Old Brandy, South Africa – Silver

KWV 12-Year-Old Brandy, South Africa – Silver

KWV 15-Year-Old Brandy, South Africa – Silver

Beehive XO, France – Bronze

Hector Legrant 15-Year-Old, France – Bronze

Ironroot Republic Sleight of Hand Sister City Blend, United States – Bronze

KWV 20-Year-Old, South Africa – Bronze

Sullivans Cove XO Double Cask Brandy, Australia – Bronze

Sullivans Cove XO Single Cask Brandy, Australia – Bronze

Viceroy 10-Year-Old Potstill, South Africa – Bronze.

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A powerhouse professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has earned a global award for R45 million, set to further her asthma research. Professor Refiloe Masekela is also the first black African female researcher to receive this award.
Prof. Masekela earned the award from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and is the first researcher from a low and middle-income country  ̶  making this a historic moment for South Africa, and a dose of hope for the future.

This award will help fund her research, which looks into accessible solutions for affordable asthma care across the African continent.

“Asthma affects one in 10 children globally and is the most common non-communicable disease in children and adolescents. Sadly, in Africa, asthma is largely neglected with children suffering severe morbidity from asthma. Lack of access to a diagnosis of asthma as well as poor access to quality assured cost-effective medicines are key gaps in asthma care.

“My ultimate goal is that all children and adolescents with asthma in Africa should have equitable access to affordable and effective care.” – Professor Refiloe Masekela.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s College of Health Sciences shares that the award will also help fund three doctoral candidates in clinical and health economics research.

Prof. Masekela is a powerhouse professor, helping guide policies and highlight issues to do with lung health in Africa. She is the Director of the American Thoracic Society Methods in Epidemiologic, Clinical and Operations Research Africa Programme and the Vice President of the Pan African Thoracic Society, as well as the Head of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

– Source:



A beautiful dark purple agapanthus Blackjack, bred at The Aloe Farm in Hartbeespoort, was crowned Plant of the Year at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London recently.
“We are stunned and so proud. It is like winning the world cup for flowers, said Andy de Wet of The Aloe Farm. Andy, with colleague Quintin Bean, bred the stunning plant. De Wet and Bean have spent almost two decades crossing, combining and recombining thousands of carefully selected agapanthus varieties to produce Blackjack.

“It was an intensive scientific and expensive process over 18 years to finally produce Blackjack. We knew it would be popular at the Chelsea Flower Show, but we did not bargain for a win. It is like playing rugby in the world cup, you never know what is going to happen.”

What makes this agapanthus so special is not just the very dark purple colour, it is a strong-growing plant that is disease-resistant and produces strong upright stems with bigger and fuller flower clusters that do not droop and flower for a long period.

This was not the breeders’ first time at the Chelsea Flower Show. Their Fireworks agapanthus came third at the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show. “We were unlucky, our timing was off. The plant only started blooming when it was time for the Chelsea Flower Show. Two weeks later, it won first prize at a trade fair in England!”

This time, their timing was perfect.

Why did they decide on the agapanthus? “I have always loved agapanthus and it was a natural choice for us,” De Wet says.

The Aloe Farm is introducing another new agapanthus during an agapanthus festival at The Aloe Farm in October. In addition, it is introducing a new Dietes in June.

De Wet and Bean are also working on other indigenous plant species. “It all started with aloes when we opened The Aloe Farm in Hartbeespoort and we have been breeding all along. There are exciting things happening at the farm.”

The Aloe Farm draws thousands of visitors from all over the world every year during June when their aloes are in full bloom. It is a spectacular sight that should not be missed by plant lovers.

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South Africa secured an impressive third place in the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO), showcasing the exceptional talents and problem-solving abilities of its mathletes in a highly competitive international competition.
In an exciting and highly competitive event, South Africa has secured an outstanding third place in the PAMO, making the nation proud.

The esteemed competition, which brought together brilliant mathematical minds from 31 participating countries, showcased the exceptional problem-solving skills, mathematical prowess and unwavering determination of our talented team of mathletes.

From 13 to 22 May 2023, South African mathletes showcased their dedication, hard work and outstanding abilities, resulting in a remarkable achievement for the country. The nation’s strong performance in this prestigious international competition is testament to their passion for Mathematics and their relentless pursuit of excellence.

The individual achievements of our mathletes are equally remarkable. Eli Williams from Westerford High School, Ellen Grant-Smith from Westerford High School, Hugo Bruwer from Hoër Jongenskool Paarl, Jana Rossouw from Jim Fouché Hoërskool, Moied Baleg from The Settlers High School and Yian Xu from Redhill School have all showcased exceptional talent and dedication, earning them silver and bronze medals.

The top-ranking countries in the PAMO were Morocco, Algeria and South Africa securing an impressive third place.

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A recent study shared the best countries for LGBTQ+ members to visit in 2023, and South Africa made the list.

While most travellers have a platter of considerations to make before embarking on a new adventure, LGBTQ+ people have an entirely different list that society doesn’t require others to think twice about. What does society acceptance look like in another country? Are there marriage rights? What about any anti-discrimination laws? Will I be safe? That is why lists like the Best Countries for LGBTQ+ Travellers matter as much as they do; making travel safer.

Holding true to the Rainbow Nation’s promise to accept all, South Africa has been named one of the Best Countries for LGBTQ+ Travellers, as part of a 2023 study.

To determine welcoming countries, researchers looked into important factors, including society acceptance, sexual activity rights, civil union rights, marriage rights, adoption rights, military service rights, anti-discrimination laws and gender identity laws.

South Africa ranked 11th on the list out of 20, with Sweden taking first place, followed by the Netherlands in second and Spain in third. Indexes were created as an overall scorecard, with South Africa earning a figure of 86.2.

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Pretty Yende already stole the show when she performed at King Charles III’s coronation. Now, she is making us all proud after being given a special badge of honour to inspire good in the world.
Yende was the talk of the palace after she stole the show at King Charles III’s coronation a few weeks back. Now, the South African songbird is soaring to even greater global heights for good ‒ she has been appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Goodwill ambassadors come from all around the world, known for different fields, from sports to art. They are often well-respected and known for having a socially conscious mindset.

Different parts of the United Nations (UN) have different ambassadors, like Emma Watson for UN Women or Leo Messi for the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund.

Being appointed means a great commitment to making mass-reaching change. Since most of us know Yende’s voice already for its incredible range and glass-shattering beauty, we will now get to know it for different reasons.

Taking to social media to share the exciting news of her Arts and Health Goodwill Ambassadorship, Yende shared that she was delighted to do essential work in South Africa and beyond.

“I hope to help establish a foundation for continued investigation into the arts being a fundamental ingredient in improving our physical, mental and social well-being.

“I am grateful to WHO for paving the way for new research and providing their global platform to spread the word and generate research on the connection of arts and health.

“I look forward to all the possibilities to do essential work in my native South Africa and globally for a better and healthier tomorrow.”

– Source:



Following the screening of “Sarafina!” at the Cannes Classics Official Selection, producer Anant Singh announced that French media and entertainment giant, TF1 Studio/ Newen Studios, would represent “Sarafina!” for international sales.
The film is produced by Singh, directed by Darrel James Roodt and stars Academy Award Winner, Whoopi Goldberg; Leleti Khumalo; Miriam Makeba; Mbongeni Ngema; John Kani and Somizi Mhlongo; with the screenplay by Mbongeni Ngema and William Nicholson.

Commenting on the deal, Singh said, “It is great to continue the relationship which began through our 1992 partnership with Les Films Ariane, which is now part of TF1 Studio, a Newen Studios subsidiary, with the film now being distributed by Newen Connect. Today, there are many opportunities to release the film, including in IMAX, and also with students and schools, which gives us access to a whole new generation of audiences.

“TF1/Newen Studios are equally passionate about the film, and we look forward to working with them on theatrical and other media, and to generating revenue and viewership across the territories of the world.”

Nathalie Toulza-Madar, TF1 Studio CEO, added, “TF1 Studio is proud and honoured to partner with Vision Entertainment to distribute Sarafina! around the world. The outstanding beauty of the film and the values it promotes will enchant new audiences, especially young ones. The glorious return of this great film to Cannes is the beginning of a wonderful adventure. The expertise of Newen Connect's distribution team will be a precious asset to accompany buyers all over the world.”

Singh and lead actress Leleti Khumalo attended the Cannes Classics screening and were accompanied by South Africa’s Deputy Ambassador to France, Minister Plenipotentiary Nthabiseng Makuwa. The film received a five-minute standing ovation.

Singh said, “It was wonderful presenting Sarafina! together with Leleti in Cannes 31 years after its first screening. The audience included people who were at the screening in 1992, but I was delighted by the reaction of people who saw the film for the first time and were visibly moved. It’s a testament to our film, and the many creative partnerships involved, that it engages a younger audience three decades later.”

– Source:



Musa Motha, a South African dancer from Sebokeng, made history on British TV this weekend.
Motha, who recently moved to London, auditioned for the latest season of Britain's Got Talent and achieved what no other contestant has ever before.

Diagnosed with cancer at a young age, Motha's left leg was amputated and stifled his dreams of becoming a football player.

But that's when he found music and dancing.

"After my amputation I fell in love with music. My friends were dancing at that time and I asked them to teach me how to dance," he told the judges.

Motha added, "I used my left crutch as my left leg, and that is how it started."

His routine had the judges in tears and the crowd roaring with applause.

The crowd demanded a golden buzzer, but the all judges had already used their golden buzzers.

However, for the first time on Britain's Got Talent, all four judges pressed the buzzer together and golden confetti came raining down on Motha.

"I've never-ever heard a reaction like that in my life," Simon told Motha as the crowd continued to cheer him on.

He has since made it to the competition’s finals!

What made Motha’s performance so exceptional  ̶  beyond the incredible fact that he is a resilient cancer survivor who outperformed his adversities with a single leg ‒ was his infectious spirit. His ability to translate hope through dance in a way that anyone in the crowd or watching at home could feel the beat of a fighter.

Moving people through movement; that is Motha’s superpower.

In 2021, Motha was part of a local Ballantine’s TV campaign titled There’s No Wrong Way. "I respect and value my craft, I practise regularly, I’m open to new ideas and new lessons. In everything I do, I do my best, no compromise," the young dancer told News24 at the time.

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The Ndlovu Youth Choir is having an incredible year so far! First being invited back to “America’s Got Talent”, then having Stevie Nicks (of Fleetwood Mac fame) ask to be part of the choir, then getting the chance to meet and perform for Sir Elton John and now, meeting Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney.

In late April, the amazing choir announced that it was taking part in several international and local tours and for this reason, was establishing a second choir, to assist in the travelling. The choir already has six international tours on the books. However, here at home, they are also in demand. One team will take on the international commitments while the other will raise the roof in South Africa. The best part is everyone will get a chance to travel overseas too.

One of the choirs was recently in Germany and the talented singers got the opportunity to meet George Clooney who attended the performance.
The choir performed for a major contributor to the Ndlovu Care Group, that being the Deutsche Postcode Lotterie and Hugo Tempelman Stiftung.

The Ndlovu Choir was established in January 2009 to afford talented, underprivileged teenagers and young adults (14-24 years) the opportunity to perform locally and abroad proficiently. The choir originally consisted of 30 choristers from the beautiful Moutse Valley in rural Limpopo, South Africa. However, the opportunity has seen many more youths join the ranks as the choir started a second group.

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South African actor and producer Tarina Patel has secured an international distribution deal at the 76th Cannes International Film Festival in France for an eight-part reality series, which she stars in and produces.
With the working title, Off She Goes, the series follows five women, including Patel, as well as four other successful women from Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana – while they travel through and experience the sights and sounds of India.

"We took about three months to produce the reality series, and I'm thrilled with the response at Cannes," said Patel. "I'm excited that the contract has been signed, and more details about the distribution deal will follow."

Patel has been leading Mzansi in the fashion pack on the Cannes red carpet – turning heads every night at a world premiere in a unique couture gown.

At the Palais de Festivals Grand Lumière Theatre World Premiere of Black Flies, Patel wore a black latex catsuit gown with a matching flounced tulle train.

"The dress is designed by the incredible Jad (Jadadamparis) Adam and I just love the Lebanese aesthetic along with supporting French designers," explained Patel.

This was Patel's fifth appearance at the Cannes Film Festival.

"Mandela's Gun was the last film that I took to Cannes as a co-production, and we shot that in six countries. I'm looking forward to this new reality series taking off and being able to have a cross-cultural bridge between Africa and India, will be a beautiful merger of my heritage and home."

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Caleb Swanepoel overcame losing his leg in a shark attack, to become a South African Para-Surfing champion and now he shares his story in a short film that is going international.

Swanepoel is on his way to the Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride, Colorado, to promote his short film Any Yet, I Remain. The short film highlights his return to the ocean after surviving a shark attack so he can learn to become a freediver.

Swanepoel’s life forever changed when he was just 20 years old; he was bodysurfing in the sea during a family holiday when he was attacked by a great white shark, which pulled him underwater and severed his right leg above the knee. He was able to swim to shore with the help of his brother Sandy before being airlifted to the hospital. Amazingly, Caleb was on crutches within three days and spent a mere 10 days in hospital – going back into the ocean to conquer his fears only three weeks after the attack.

Since then, he has gone on to become a South African Para-Surfing Champion four times, a Western Province Para-Surfing Champion, National Para-Swimming Champion and landed in the top three at the “South Africa for Adaptive Crossfit” Open.

Now, his short film, directed by Rick Wall and Dougal Paterson, is having its Northern America Premiere at the Mountainfilm Festival – one of the country’s most iconic film events. It is famous for screening independent documentary films.

His short film has previously been featured at the Wavescape Surf and Ocean Film Festival too.

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Award-winning athlete, entrepreneur and philanthropist Siya Kolisi announced that his documentary “RISE – The Siya Kolisi Story”, which chronicles his journey as the first black, South African rugby captain who overcame the odds to lead his national team to win the 2019 World Cup, is set to world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on 14 June.
The documentary is more than a sports story and pulls back the curtain on Kolisi’s tumultuous upbringing in South Africa, where he navigated through poverty, systemic racism from apartheid, neighbourhood violence and a complex relationship with his father.

Rugby became Kolisi’s refuge as he honed his craft, becoming the first-ever black captain of South Africa’s national team in its 126-year history as well as one of the greatest superstars of his generation. In the process, Kolisi’s leadership on and off the pitch inspired a country that had been plagued by decades of segregation and injustice.

“I’m truly honoured to be sharing my story with millions around the world,” said Kolisi. “I hope my journey inspires people to chase their dreams and remind others to never allow adverse circumstances to define our lives. We are more than products of our environments and we have the potential to change our respective narratives.”

RISE – The Siya Kolisi Story was written and directed by Tebogo Malope, an award-winning filmmaker who most recently directed a documentary series on the launch of the NBA’s Basketball Africa League that included appearances from President Barack Obama and J Cole.

Roc Nation Sports International has represented Kolisi since his historic World Cup win in 2019, having shepherded his professional and personal career endeavours. Most recently, Kolisi was featured on CBS’ iconic programme, 60 Minutes, where they highlighted his life story as well as his plans to create meaningful change in South Africa.

The Tribeca Film Festival premiere of RISE – The Siya Kolisi Story comes shortly after he was awarded the National Order of Ikhamanga, a prestigious award bestowed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa that recognises citizens who excel in sports, arts, culture, literature, music and journalism.

In recent years, Kolisi released his best-selling autobiography, RISE, and has also been designated as the United Nations Global Advocate for Spotlight Initiative, nominated as a BBC Sports Star of the Year, honoured as the SA Rugby Player of the Year and recognised by Forbes Africa in 2021 as one of the 100 most influential Africans. He also co-founded The Kolisi Foundation with his wife Rachel that is committed to changing narratives of inequality in South Africa.

“Siya is an embodiment of resilience, patience and determination,” President of Roc Nation Sports International, Michael Yormark, said. “We are beyond thrilled to premiere this powerful documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival and help tell Siya’s inspirational story. He has shattered barriers to become a global icon and is continuing to leave an impactful legacy for the next generation.”

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The entire South African gymnastics squad took gold at the African Artistic Gymnastics Championships; the first time this has happened in almost two decades!
The Olympics recently spotlighted the joy of one South African gymnasts, and now all eyes are on the whole female South African Artistic Gymnasts squad who took gold at the 17th African Championships recently.

This marks the first time the entire team has taken gold since 2006, and also earns South Africa a direct ticket to the World Championships in Belgium later this year  ̶  a step closer to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Another dose of pride for the gold win came as the epic continental competition was hosted on home soil in Tshwane, making matters heartfelt at Heartfelt Arena.

“This is an historic night for South African gymnastics, our first team victory in the women’s artistic team competition since 2006. The support was amazing and gymnastics is alive and well in South Africa.

“We’re extremely proud to host an event of this stature in South Africa. The level of women’s artistic gymnastics displayed tonight was exceptional, and we congratulate all the winners for showcasing their talents so expertly.” ‒ Gymnastics South Africa President, Donny Jurgens.

Taking second place at the podium was the Egyptian team with Algeria claiming bronze.

South Africa’s Caitlin Rooskrantz earned silver individually.

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Excitement is building with the World Rugby U20 Championship 2023 set to make its long-awaited return in South Africa on 24 June, with the U20 Trophy to follow in Nairobi, Kenya, on 15 July.
The opening match-day of the U20 Championship, which returns for the first time since France lifted the coveted trophy in Argentina in 2019 and after a break of three years due to the pandemic, falls on an important day in South African rugby history with the 28th anniversary of their first Rugby World Cup triumph in 1995.

Twenty-eight years on from the iconic moment when Francois Pienaar received the Webb Ellis Cup from President Nelson Mandela and held it aloft to the delight of a nation, the next generation of international players will be eager to put on a show themselves.

World Rugby has confirmed the match official panels for both the U20 Championship and U20 Trophy, as well as a change of venue for the U20 Championship in South Africa.

Athlone Stadium will replace Boland Stadium as a venue for the pool and knockout stages of the U20 Championship. A premium 35 000-seater football facility in the region, Athlone Stadium will now host the semi-finals and final in what should be a unique setting in the Cape Town suburb of Athlone.

“This tournament showcases the best U20 talent the world has to offer and supporters will be able to watch the unique event at three wonderful venues, where they will get close to the action and enjoy every match.

“It’s been more than 10 years since we last played at home and it’s great that the prices are very affordable. We would like to see as many fans as possible at all the games.

“For the Junior Boks to be able to play on our home turf, in front of family, friends and fans, is very special, but supporters will also be able to enjoy the excitement of young guys from all over the world having a full go.” – Bafana Nhleko, Junior Springbok head coach

The U20 Championship and Trophy are not only a pathway for future players to the test arena but also for match officials with five of those from the 2019 U20 Championship having been named on the panel for Rugby World Cup 2023, including Nika Amashukeli (Georgia) and James Doleman (New Zealand).

Thirteen officials from 11 nations have been selected for the U20 Championship with a further eight officials named on the U20 Trophy panel with history set to be created at both tournaments.

Hollie Davidson (Scotland) will become the first female official to referee at the U20 Championship before Kat Roche (United States of America) and Precious Pazani (Zimbabwe) follow suit at the U20 Trophy in Kenya.

The U20 Championship panel also features Takehito Namekawa, a former scrum-half who played for Japan in the 2009 and 2010 tournaments but now returns in a match officiating capacity.

“The World Rugby U20 Championship and Trophy tournaments returning after a three-year absence are much welcomed in our global game. It is always a joy to watch our rugby stars of the future shining on this platform.

“The U20 Championship makes a highly symbolic return to South Africa 11 years after the last edition organised in the country; a tournament that the Junior Springboks won on home soil and which the next generation will strive to emulate.

“We wish all the participating teams the best in their preparations and look forward to seeing all teams in South Africa next month for a fantastic showcase of rugby.” – Sir Bill Beaumont, World Rugby Chairman.

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The Netball World Cup kicks off in South Africa on 28 July 2023. Excitement is brewing and to keep the ball rolling, Netball South Africa’s President Cecilia Molokwane and CEO Blanche de la Guerre visited London to go pick up the World Cup Trophy.
The 2023 Netball World Cup will be hosted in Cape Town at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Over the years, the country has proven itself worthy of hosting massive international sporting events.

The South African squad has been named and the other countries will all be doing the same, training hard in the leadup to this massive event.

Molokwane and De la Guerre visited the South African High Commission in London to receive the trophy from the British delegation. It was brought back to South Africa where 16 countries will compete to win it.

All 60 matches will be broadcast by both pay channel SuperSport and free-to-air SABC.

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