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President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed South Africa’s readiness to host the historic 15th Summit of BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It will be the first BRICS Summit to be hosted in person since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent global restrictions.
President Ramaphosa has in recent months and weeks held a number of consultations on the hosting of the summit. The President’s most recent consultation in this regard took place on Tuesday, 18 July 2023, at the BRICS Political Party Dialogue in Gauteng.

The summit will be attended by the leaders of Brazil, India, China and South Africa.

By mutual agreement, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation will not attend the summit, but the Russian Federation will be represented by the Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov.

President Ramaphosa is confident that the summit will be a success and calls on the nation to extend the necessary hospitality to the many delegates who will arrive from various parts of the continent and the globe.




President Cyril Ramaphosa has unveiled two statues of the late former President Nelson Mandela, one in Mthatha and the other in Qunu in the Eastern Cape, as part of Nelson Mandela Day celebrations.

The two statues unveiled at Bhunga Building in Mthatha and the Youth and Heritage Centre in Qunu, serve as a tribute to Nelson Mandela's enduring impact on South Africa and the world.

They further commemorate the 67 years he dedicated to the fight against apartheid and racism.

Unveiling the statue in Qunu, President Ramaphosa noted that while there were many monuments paying tribute to Madiba across South Africa, Africa and many parts of the world, for South Africans to be able to honour the father of our nation at his place of birth, meant a lot.

The President said the making of the statues was something that government had been working towards for some time.

“Since 2021, the Eastern Cape Provincial Heritage Resource Agency, the Mandela family, the Nelson Mandela Museum and the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture have been driving this process – a process that included public consultation,” President Ramaphosa said.

The statue in Mthatha depicts Madiba in the role for which he was most well-known, a statesman, while the statue in Qunu depicts him in the attire of his Xhosa-Tembu culture, “reminding us of the traditional values he lived by and that shaped his consciousness”.

“It is our hope that this homage to Madiba in his final resting place will serve as an inspiration, especially to the young people in the community. It is to remind you that the seeds of greatness lie dormant within each one of us, and that it is up to us to make them germinate and bloom.

“It is to remind you that being born in a rural area, or having humble beginnings, is no obstacle to achieving greatness and to fulfilling your destiny. It is to remind us of our duty to do what we can to make the world a better place,” President Ramaphosa said.

He said the two statues were beacons of hope to individuals and communities that were still suffering from the evils of marginalisation and the scourges of poverty, inequality and underdevelopment.

“Monuments, statues and museums have a key role to play in the political and cultural life of any country. They are a means of giving recognition to those who suffered hardship, repression, exile or death in pursuit of universal ideals such as human freedom.

“Monuments such as this one is the struggle of memory against forgetting. This statue should serve as reminder to those of us elected to serve the South African people that we must redouble our efforts to build a better South Africa that leaves no-one behind,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President called on the people of Qunu to protect and look after the sites of memorialisation and commemoration, adding that he had no doubt they have the potential to attract tourists, which would in turn support business and job creation.

He encouraged South Africans to do their bit of good by dedicating 67 minutes to performing acts of goodwill towards others, as part of making the world a better place.

“Madiba built bridges of peace and mobilised people of the world to fight against social injustice and oppression. Let us strive to emulate his example, today and every day,” the President said.

– Source:



On Wednesday, 19 July 2023, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed into law the South African Sign Language (SASL) Bill during a ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. 

On 2 May 2023, the National Assembly approved that Section 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 be amended to include SASL as an official language to promote the rights of persons who are deaf and hard of hearing.

The recognition of SASL as the 12th official language is an important step towards the realisation of the rights of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

SASL is an indigenous language that constitutes an important element of South African linguistic and cultural heritage. It has its own distinct grammatical structures and lexicon and it is independent of any other language.

The new legislation seeks to:

  • advance the cultural acceptance of SASL
  • ensure the realisation of the rights of persons who are deaf and hard of hearing to equal protection and benefit of the law and human dignity
  • promote inclusive and substantive equality and prevent or eliminate unfair discrimination on the grounds of disability, as guaranteed by Section 9 of the Constitution.

With this initiative, South Africa becomes the fourth country on the African continent to recognise sign language as an official language; other countries are Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda.



President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his sadness at the passing of Imam Achmad Cassiem, a former Robben Island prisoner, Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) member and founding member of the Qibla Movement.
Imam Cassiem passed away on Friday,14 July 2023, at the age of 78.

President Ramaphosa extended his condolences to the family, friends, comrades and associates internationally of the late political and religious leader, who hailed from the Western Cape.

As a teenager, Cassiem was politically conscientised by the PAC’s campaign against apartheid pass laws, motivating him to join the armed struggle at the age of 15.

He was a high school learner when he and his teacher, Sadiq Isaacs, were arrested for sabotage, detained and charged under the Sabotage Act.

His was handed a five-year sentence, which caused him to become one of the youngest prisoners on Robben Island.

Upon his release, he was issued with a banning order, which he defied to remain politically active, including his role in the establishment in 1979 of the Qibla Movement to promote and defend Islam in South Africa.

He was detained again for an extended period after mobilising learners during a protracted class boycott in 1980 and was later charged under the Terrorism Act for facilitating military training and infiltration into South Africa for Qibla fighters who were trained in Libya.

Years after his arrest for this action, Cassiem was sentenced to six years in prison. Following the unbanning of liberation organisations, his release was cut short in 1991.

In later years, he served as National Chairperson of the Islamic Unity Convention and as adviser to the Islam Human Rights Commission.

“Imam Cassiem lived a life of courage, principle and faith in mobilising communities on the Cape Flats and around the country against apartheid,” President Ramaphosa said.

“Imprisonment, confinement to his home in Hanover Park and repeated harassment and detention by the apartheid security machine failed to extinguish the flame of resistance and revolution that burned in his being and which he ignited in everyone he inspired as an activist.

“We are joined by supporters of our struggle in Libya, Iran and other nations who had an impact on Imam Cassiem, who in turn, had an impact on them. We are grateful for his life and wish him eternal, peaceful rest,” the President said.

– Source:



President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted a courtesy call on Thursday, 13 July 2023, by Malik Agar Eyre Nganyoufa, Deputy President of the Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan, which focussed on recent events in Sudan and international efforts to end the conflict and violence.
The visit was a follow-up to a telephonic discussion between the President and Deputy President Nganyoufa on 2 July 2023.

Deputy President Nganyoufa briefed President Ramaphosa on the current conflict in the Republic of Sudan.

President Ramaphosa reiterated South Africa’s concern at the protracted nature of the conflict between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces and called on the Transitional Sovereign Council, including the Sudan Armed Forces, to urgently work towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Sudan.

South Africa believes this can be achieved through an inclusive dialogue process that will yield permanent peace for Sudan and her people and respect the commitment of all parties to the Juba Peace Agreement, signed on 3 October 2020.

President Ramaphosa conveyed South Africa’s willingness to play a role in an effort towards ending the conflict and violence if requested by the East African Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the African Union or other role players.

The leaders undertook to remain in contact on the situation in Sudan.

‒ Source:



President Cyril Ramaphosa has commended Huawei for the work it is doing to cultivate local digital talent through the Learned, Engaged, Accelerated Professionals (LEAP) Programme, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) academies and DigiSchool projects.

The President was speaking at the launch of the Huawei South Africa Innovation Centre, held at the Huawei Office Park in Woodmead, Sandton, on Thursday, 13 July 2023.

The Huawei Innovation Centre serves to foster and encourage joint innovations with Huawei’s South African partners, app developers and small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) in the ICT space.

The centre is also a showcase of Huawei’s latest and most innovative digital technologies and solutions.

The President, who toured the centre in the morning, said what he saw and heard, was both impressive and encouraging.

“This centre brings together Huawei’s different business units in a collaboration hub with local partners, app developers and ICT-focussed SMMEs. For South Africa, expanding digital infrastructure is one of the primary engines of economic growth [and] the development of information technology is key to the competitiveness of our economy,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President also welcomed Huawei's plans to invest substantially in data centres and cyber security industries in Africa.

By adopting the range of cutting-edge technologies being pioneered by companies such as Huawei, he said, South Africa and the continent would be able to leapfrog into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“It is our hope that this Innovation Centre will be a springboard for the launch of new local ICT enterprises that create jobs. We hope it will be a springboard to new business processes that grow our economy and support our national developmental goals,” President Ramaphosa said.

Digital innovation inextricably linked to the nation’s development

President Ramaphosa also noted that not only could new digital technologies such as AI, Big Data and machine learning provide a platform for economic growth, job creation and self-employment, they could also vastly improve government service delivery.

“The application of digital technologies to improve production processes spans a broad range of economic sectors, from mining to ports to transportation and others. Last year, for example, the first 5G coal mine was launched in South Africa through a partnership with Huawei, its carrier and industry partners.

“This centre is a signal of Huawei’s confidence in the South African economy and its potential. The digital technology and business services sectors are key pillars of South Africa’s investment strategy,” President Ramaphosa said.

To stimulate investment in these sectors, the President said government had focussed on several structural reforms.

He said the actions taken included the auction of high-demand spectrum that took place last year, which alongside digital migration “will significantly expand access to broadband and bring down data costs.”

Other priorities include the development of an ICT and Digital Economy Masterplan and National Data and Cloud Policy.

The President noted that South Africa had a robust and sophisticated ICT sector with expertise in data centres, including cloud computing and storage and rapidly expanding wireless and fibre infrastructure.

The country also has strong regulatory frameworks around cybersecurity, intellectual property and the protection of personal information, among others.

“According to the 2023 State of the ICT Sector in South Africa, published by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, the sector’s revenue continues to increase by approximately R25.5 billion over a five-year period. This makes the ICT sector one of our most attractive industries for investment, with substantial growth potential,” the President highlighted.

“As we grow the digital economy,” he said, “it is our expectation that this growth in revenue should be matched by an increase in the number of jobs the sector creates.”

– Source:



The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, hosted the Irish Deputy Prime Minister (Tánaiste), Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin, for a bilateral meeting on Tuesday, 18 July 2023. The meeting discussed South Africa-Ireland bilateral relations, regional and international issues as well as multilateral developments.

Bilateral relations between the two countries are conducted within the framework of the South Africa-Ireland Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC), which was established in 2017. The JCC meets biennially at the level of Deputy Minister.

The last meeting of the JCC was held in South Africa in February 2022. The JCC covers a wide range of cooperation in areas such as education, labour, immigration, energy, trade, gender, tourism, arts and culture, and science and technology, which are linked to both governments’ priorities.

South Africa and Ireland share similar values and commitment to multilateralism, in respect of the promotion of democracy, human rights, women’s empowerment, the rule of law and the building of socially cohesive and just societies.

South Africa is the leading import and export partner for Ireland on the African continent. In 2021, Ireland ranked as the 11th supplier to the South African market and 11th export destination for South African products to the European Union (EU). For the five-year period 2018 to 2022, total trade between the two countries increased from R9.2 billion to R10.5 billion, accompanied by a positive annual average growth rate of 3.1%.

In 2022, primary products accounted for approximately 48% of total exports from South Africa to Ireland in 2022. The primary products include coal (18.7%), fruit (18%) and other (11.3%). The value-added products accounted for approximately 30.4% and represented by motor vehicles and tools. These top 10 value-added products accounted for approximately 78.4% share of total exports in 2022.

In 2022, the top imports from Ireland to South Africa accounted for approximately 73.4% share of total imports. The value-added products include medicaments, powered aircraft, automatic data processing machinery, orthopaedic appliances and pharmaceutical products and accounted for about 64.6% of the top 10 imports from South Africa to Ireland.

This year, 2023, marks the 30th anniversary of South Africa-Ireland diplomatic relations. Bilateral relations between South Africa and Ireland are historic and cordial. There was strong support in Ireland and from the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement for South Africa’s struggle for freedom and many South Africans, including former Minister Kader Asmal, found refuge in Ireland.

As South Africa and the international community commemorated Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July, Tánaiste Martin participated in Mandela Day activities with Minister Pandor in Mamelodi.

The bilateral meeting between Minister Pandor and Tánaiste Martin reaffirmed the importance of the longstanding bilateral political and economic relations as well as the commitment shared by both countries to enhance even stronger economic ties contributing to skills development, job creation and investment, as well as enhanced political and people-to-people relations.



The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, joined South Africans and the international community in marking the annual Nelson Mandela Day on Tuesday, 18 July 2023.

Minister Pandor visited the Bophelong Community Centre in Mamelodi East in Pretoria, Gauteng.

She was joined by the visiting Irish Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin, and several heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Pretoria.

Bophelong Community Centre was established in 2000 by Pastor Titus Sithole as a community-based, one-stop centre of hope, which provides free and easily accessible social and welfare services to the community of Mamelodi and surrounding areas.

“Minister Pandor visited the centre 10 years ago, in 2013. This year’s visit will, therefore, serve as an opportunity for the Minister to observe how the centre has grown over the past decade and what challenges remain to be addressed,” the statement read.

In November 2009, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a unanimous resolution in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.

The General Assembly declared 18 July Nelson Mandela International Day.

The day marks Mandela’s life and is used as a global call to action for people to recognise their power to make an imprint and change the world.

The International Nelson Mandela Day for the year 2023 was celebrated under the theme, The Legacy Lives on Through You: Climate, Food and Solidarity.




The Minister for Women, Youth and People with Disabilities, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has called on young people to lead the charge against all forms of exploitation.

“You need to imagine a society where everyone has basic socio-economic security. You also have the intellectual responsibility to break society from their seeming acceptance of rentier capitalism as an accepted orthodoxy,” Minister Dlamini Zuma said on Tuesday, 18 July 2023.

The Minister was addressing the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Youth Summit in Durban, which was attended by BRICS youth leaders.

She encouraged young people to establish an alternative public banking and finance system that would fund development initiatives.

“I expect your summit to reimagine an alternative banking and financing architecture for the global South. Productive societies require productive sectors of the economy, industrialised around manufactured finished goods and away from the shipping of raw materials.

“We currently have a structural problem of a banking industry that is not only greatly concentrated and monopolised, but also in many ways does not serve our interests. Those who prefer us shipping raw materials will not fund our manufacturing plants. They will not fund a rail system that connects the content for the movement of people, goods and services.

“The New Development Bank is thus a step in the right direction, but we need to domesticate alternative banking as a matter of urgency,” the Minister said.

She warned that without control over finance and banking, only those projects that converged with the interest of private interests would be funded while the interests of the communities takes a backseat.

“As BRICS youth leaders, you are responsible for writing a new developmental script, which must include a blueprint for integration and interconnection of people and systems across the BRICS nations and its partners.

“Integration should mean integrated finance, information and communications technologies (ICT) for communication, trading and accessibility of public health services by bridging the distance between national systems.

“Our integrated ICT strategies should connect our youth digitally, enable cultural exchanges and leverage the power and ability of the creative industry to generate millions of jobs across BRICS,” the Minister said.

She described the space that young people were in as the verge of a geopolitical revolution, which will jolt the global community from its slumber.

“What we make of BRICS and what becomes of this alliance has the potential to change the course of history and accelerate the downfall of an unjust imperialist world order. BRICS is a breakaway from the past.

“You have the responsibility to make the concept of BRICS relatable to people from all walks of life, particularly those who remain at the margins of society. The BRICS concept must not be an elite one,” the Minister said.

She said BRICS and its multipolar outlook were fundamentally about repairing an unjust past and preparing for a future of collective well-being and prosperity among equals.

“Multipolarity is a departure from the dominant reality of a unipolar world order, in which there is only one dominant power. The rationale behind multipolarity is that it promotes stability and reduces the likelihood of conflicts.

“Our passion for BRICS must run alongside our drive for the integration of both Africa and Africans, those at home, and in the Diaspora. Through African integration, we should seek to take back the slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism that took away from us,” the Minister said.

Minister Dlamini Zuma said the leaders had the responsibility to end the manufacturing of consent through media monopolies, which are currently engaged in mainstream misinformation and disinformation campaigns.

“I expect you to take this matter very seriously. Ongoing misinformation about and against BRICS itself should motivate you all to imagine new and alternative media platforms and narratives that do not reduce us into subjects or even objects. We need alternative forms of conscious journalism out of this summit,” the Minister said.

National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Executive Chairperson, Asanda Luwaca, said South Africa's membership in BRICS amplified the country’s voice on important global issues.

“We can address challenges such as poverty, unemployment and inequality coupled with sustainable development, climate change and social inequality more effectively when working with those who share a common vision.

“Through collaboration, we can share best practices, exchange knowledge and create innovative solutions that benefit not only the youth of South Africa but also those across the BRICS community,” Luwaca said.

She said BRICS could serve as a launch pad for entrepreneurship and innovation among young people.

“By creating platforms for collaboration and knowledge-sharing we can foster an environment that nurtures creativity, supports start-ups and promotes technological advancements. Access to funding, mentorship programmes and incubation centres within the BRICS framework can provide young entrepreneurs with the necessary resources and networks to turn their ideas into successful ventures,” Luwaca said.

– Source:



In an effort to address the congestion and delays at the Kasumbalesa border, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have agreed to address the challenges of infrastructure, equipment and procedures at the border.

This border post is a point of entry into the DRC from Zambia and is the main transit point for freight trucks from South Africa and various countries in the region.

“As part of addressing the challenges, we committed to support the DRC in automating the Kasumbalesa port of entry. Other proposed solutions include the extension of border operations to 24 hours a day, the establishment of a one-stop border post as well as the use of alternative border posts to ease congestion at Kasumbalesa.

“We further agreed to support the use of railway as an alternative to decongest the Kasumbalesa road network and the development of a dry port,” the Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga, said on Sunday, 16 July 2023.

Minister Chikunga recently held a bilateral meeting with her counterpart from the DRC, Minister Marc Ekila Likombo, where they agreed to undertake a joint ministerial visit to the Kasumbalesa port of entry, in the Province of Haut Katanga.  

The joint visit to the border was held on Saturday. It followed the successful 12th Bi-National Commission co-chaired by the presidents of South Africa and the DRC, President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, respectively, on 6 July 2023.

Minister Chikunga said the resolution of the Kasumbalesa port of entry required the participation of the Zambian Government in the conversation.

“To this end, I will be engaging with my Zambian counterpart on their participation in the discussions to find a lasting solution to the congestion problem."

The joint communiqué also affirmed an earlier decision to convene a dialogue and workshop in South Africa on matters of mutual cooperation, covered in the memorandum of understanding, including resolution to challenges of the Kasumbalesa border post. 

– Source:



The National School of Government (NSG) hosted the BRICS Conference on 17 to 19 July 2023, focussing on Governance and Public Administration Reforms as part of the build-up towards the BRICS Summit to be hosted by South Africa in August this year.
This was the second BRICS Conference hosted by the NSG contributing to efforts to build a better Africa and a better world. The first one was held in 2018 when South Africa last hosted the BRICS Summit.

The conference brought together public affairs and administration practitioners and scholars from the BRICS countries. They discussed governance and public administration reforms to contribute towards achieving accelerated growth and sustainable development through a capable public sector in line with the theme of this year’s BRICS Summit, which is BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism.

The conference aimed to build a collective understanding of each BRICS country’s current governance and public administration reform efforts. The attendees reflected on the individual and common challenges faced by each country and how the respective countries respond to broader technological developments and climate-related challenges. The goal is to share experiences and learn from each other to promote a sustainable future.

Over 50 scholars from BRICS member countries along with senior officials and academics from schools of government in Asia, Europe and Africa presented studies on state reforms and innovation in public administration.



South Africa’s dreamy safari locations, pristine beaches, enchanting mountains and romantic winelands have been given a thumbs-up by readers from the United Kingdom (UK).
Telegraph readers in the UK recognised South Africa as the supreme tourist destination and voted Mzansi as “The Best Country” and Cape Town “The Best City in The World” at the 2023 Telegraph Travel Awards.

According to South African Tourism, the Telegraph Travel Awards is a distinguished platform within the travel industry and recognises destinations that captivate the imagination and leave an indelible mark on visitors.

It said South Africa’s accolades, voted for by 27 000 passionate readers, underscored the country’s unparalleled natural landscapes, rich biodiversity and vibrant cultural experiences.

The body responsible for the promotion of South African tourism in international markets revealed that the country welcomed 303 848 arrivals from the UK and Ireland in 2022.

“January to May 2023 arrivals from the UK now stand at 164 232, which is a 50.2% increase when compared to January to May 2022 arrivals of 109 372,” said SA Tourism.

When it comes to Cape Town’s win, SA Tourism said the Mother City had long been celebrated for its picturesque beauty, world-famous landmarks and warm hospitality.

“The city’s win as the Best City in the World is a resounding affirmation of its status as a global tourism gem. From the majestic Table Mountain and stunning beaches to the captivating Cape Winelands and vibrant neighbourhoods, Cape Town offers an abundance of experiences that appeal to the senses and nourish the soul,” said SA Tourism.

Commenting on the achievement, Kgomotso Ramothea, acting hub head for UK and Ireland Hub, said they were immensely proud and thrilled for the country.

“These accolades are a testament to the remarkable experiences our country offers and the unwavering dedication of our tourism industry. South Africa’s diverse landscapes, rich wildlife and warm hospitality continue to captivate the hearts of travellers from around the globe.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to the 27 000 Telegraph readers who voted for us and invite everyone to come and experience the magic of South Africa first-hand,” said Ramothea.

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Renowned author, Tony Park, has joined forces with Swiss conservation volunteer, Maya von Dach, to use the power of the written word for good by raising funds for endangered species through Wildlife ACT.
The pair initially made contact after Von Dach realised the need for Park’s action-packed novels set in the great game reserves of Africa to be translated into German for wider audience enjoyment. The conversation soon turned to their shared love for Africa, wildlife and conservation work being driven on the continent.

“Maya emailed me saying she had read and loved my books and offered to translate them into German, because so far only one of the novels had been released in German,” Park said. “When we broached the topic of a translation fee, Maya suggested that a percentage of the proceeds be donated to the work being done by Wildlife ACT instead. I thought this was a great way to give back to a cause so close to both of our hearts and couldn’t wait to get started.”

Wildlife ACT is non-profit conservation organisation based in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, that focusses on on-the-ground endangered species conservation efforts, supported by the World Wildlife Fund. Of particular focus for the organisation is the critically endangered African wild dog and black rhino, as well as the six vulture species found in South Africa – of which, several are critically endangered. Through the help of their voluntourism model, Wildlife ACT has been able to provide sustained, free professional monitoring services to more than 10 Zululand protected areas for 15 years.

Von Dach and her husband, Manfred, have volunteered with Wildlife ACT several times on various protected areas, making her well-versed in the conservation work being done and the support needed for this important cause.

“Our time volunteering with Wildlife ACT was life changing,” said Von Dach. “The work we did involved daily tracking and monitoring of African wild dogs, photographing them for identity kits; and also observing populations and behaviours of other key species, such as black and white rhinos, various predator species and vultures.”

Although neither Park nor Von Dach are African-born, both share an immense passion for the continent’s wildlife, people and protected areas.

Park’s novels – many of them bestsellers – often focus on conservation and the fight against poaching and the illegal trade. Being issues that Von Dach was exposed to first-hand while volunteering with Wildlife ACT, the subject matter hit home.

“Whenever I was longing for Africa – which was permanently – I read Tony Park’s thrilling and instructive books or listened to the audiobooks,” Maya said. “That took me back to where I lost my heart – in Africa.  I had already translated two Africa-related books into German and found that it was something I really enjoyed. It felt like a natural progression to join Tony in doing the same for his books. I now get to work on these translations for a wonderful cause, while traveling the continent I love so much.”

Inspired by the nature and wildlife of Africa in both writing and life, Park is embedded in the world of conservation. He is the patron of an Australian-based non-profit organisation called the Painted Dog Conservation Inc and supports various wildlife and other charities by auctioning the rights for people to have their names used as characters in his novels.

The first of Park’s latest batch of novels to be translated, Ghosts of the Past, set in Namibia, has just been released in German as Geister der Vergangenheit. It is available in print and e-book from online booksellers internationally. An audiobook version will be released in 2024. Von Dach has already pledged her share of the advance offered by the audiobook publishers to Wildlife ACT.

“By publishing independently in German-speaking areas, with Maya acting as the translator, we are able to maximise the funds Maya can raise for Wildlife ACT,” Park said.

Two more of Park’s novels, Okavango (released as The Delta in English), set in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, and Silent Hunter (English: Silent Predator), based in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, will be released later this year.

“I’m very excited to begin this journey with Maya and Wildlife ACT, particularly with my latest novel Vendetta due to be released soon. The idea of more people being able to read the books and supporting a cause close to my heart at the same time is wonderful.”

– Source:



Khulisa Social Solutions, a South African non-profit organisation (NPO), is celebrating receiving two global awards for the work being done to uplift local youth.
Khulisa Social Solutions is a non-profit company that helps vulnerable children, youth and communities unlock their potential and develop skills towards a sustainable future.

The multi-award-winning NPO received a CEO Today Africa Award from CEO Today Magazine, which acknowledged Khulisa’s founder and Managing Director, Lesley Ann Van Selm, for her outstanding leadership, vision and entrepreneurship. According to CEO Today Magazine, this “award programme is dedicated to recognising some of the most innovative and forward-thinking CEOs and business leaders across a number of sectors and industries within Africa.”

Another notable award that Khulisa has scooped is the Best Social Solutions Not-for-Profit 2023, awarded by Global Excellence Awards, the flagship awards programme of Acquisition International magazine. According to Global Excellence Awards, recipients are uncovered through a merit-based system. The organisation’s research team impartially looks into recipients’ evidence of significant achievements and a clear commitment to innovation in a given field.

In the past year, Khulisa received recognition for its positive impact with its flagship programme, Peacemaking Project in Alexandra. This programme was a direct response to civil unrest, including the looting and violence that took place in 2020. Over 35 community peacemakers were trained to deal with conflict in the township, this also saw 21 different NGOs organise themselves into four groupings. which included Health and Environment; Children; Parents and Children; and Arts and Innovation to directly respond to various problems in the Alexandra community.

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For the first time, Trevor Noah’s own comedy special has been nominated for an Emmy. This marks the beginning of a new era for the South African comedian beyond "The Daily Show".
Noah might not be new to the Emmys (he won his first Emmy back in 2017 for The Daily Show’s YouTube show and has received multiple nominations for his contribution to TDS since), but this year’s nominations meant a little more than accolades.

While Noah’s The Daily Show was nominated for Best Talk Series, he was also nominated for his Netflix special I Wish You Would.

One marks the end of an era for the comedian as one of the most popular hosts in America, while the other highlights a new chapter as his first Emmy nomination outside of The Daily Show (apart from the Annual Grammy Awards Variety Special nominations).

– Source:



In the world of glitz, glamour and pageantry accolades, there’s something so positive and impactful about an award that honours inner beauty. South Africa’s Ayanda Thabethe recently won the title of Miss Congeniality at the Miss Supranational global competition in Poland ‒ a title dedicated to inner sunshine, kindness, friendliness and a gorgeous personality.
Thabethe radiated from the inside out throughout her journey to the international stage and made it to the Top 24 of the Miss Supranational pageant.

Although she didn’t walk away with the Miss Supranational crown this time round, her coveted personality title win in the world of pageantry is a fabulous recognition for the one kind of beauty that never goes out of style. It’s also a reminder that South African personalities are quite literally award-winning.

Still, South African energy was felt on the international stage in a big way this year as now former Miss Supranational title holder Lalela Mswane handed over her reign to Ecuador’s Andrea Aguilera.

– Source:



Capetonian ballroom and Latin dance duo Riana Jacobs (19) and Morgan Achmat (18) were recently selected to represent South Africa at the world championships in Germany.
The competition takes place in December, but the pair is already hard at work preparing for it.

They've been studying their competitors' moves and putting in hours of punishing practice at their dance school, L and O Love for Dance in Bellville, Cape Town.

“We're excited to be training with different dancers from around the world but especially international dancers that we draw inspiration from," Jacobs told YOU.

Jacobs and Achmat have been burning up dance floors together since 2019.

“Many people told us we dance well together, and we decided to keep the partnership and move to our current dance school, L and O Love for Dance, to start our journey as a duo," she says. 

They have competed in several dance competitions. They were crowned dance champs in 2019’s Rumba in the Jungle, 2022’s Dance Sport South Africa nationals and they scored a hat-trick when they won the South African Dance Foundation Super Series consecutively in 2019, 2022 and 2023.

The two have big dreams for their future. “We'd like to open a dance school one day with our international skills and also raise stars like us," Achmat said.

“We want to be an inspiration to younger children in our communities – they shouldn't let where they come from determine where they end up," Jacobs added.

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The 2023 World Para Athletics Championships in Paris have come to a blazing end with plenty of proud moments for both the para-athletes and supporters all over.

The first medal came in as smooth as silver, earned by blind para athlete Louzanne Coetzee for her epic performance alongside guide Estean Badenhorst at the women’s 1500m T11 event.

Not long after, Mpumelelo Mhlongo brought home the first gold for South Africa in the T44 100m, an incredible moment true to the skill of the Paralympic Games record holder.

Mhlongo’s victory was followed by the second gold medal for the season scored by Simone Kruger at the F38 discus event.

Kruger’s victory was so powerful at 31.8m, it broke a world record!

Bold in bronze, Kerwin Noemdo claimed third place for Team SA in the men’s shot put F46 just before the gold victories ‒ completing South Africa’s podium standings.

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Banyana Banyana concluded their preparations for the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup, securing a resounding 2-0 victory over Costa Rica in an international friendly on Saturday, 15 July 2023, at Nga Puna Wai Sports Hub.
The South Africans' triumph against the North Americans was ignited by goals from strikers Thembi Kgatlana and Hildah Magaia in each half.

This exceptional outcome was precisely what Banyana needed as they approached their first group stage match against Sweden on 23 July, following the disruptions encountered during their preparations before departing for New Zealand.

After an early exit from the group stage in their inaugural global appearance in 2019, coach Desiree Ellis' team is eager to showcase their improvement in Australia and New Zealand.

Having defeated Costa Rica, currently ranked 36th in the world, the 54th-ranked African champions exude confidence in Group G alongside Sweden, Argentina and Italy.

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South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk and Akani Simbine returned to the winner's circle and claimed gold at the Silesia Diamond League on Sunday, 16 July 2023.

Simbine held his form perfectly to claim a memorable win in the men's 100m in 9.97sec.

Simbine beat world champion Fred Kerley into second, in 9.98sec in a photo finish with third-placed Emmanuel Eseme of Cameroon.

Newly-crowned United States champion Cravont Charleston was fourth in 9.99sec.

It was Kerley's first defeat of the season in track's blue riband event, but the American seemed unfazed by the result.

"I feel good about today’s race. Nothing was missing. I got my job done," he said.

Sibine added: "I won against all of them, not only against the world champion.

"I am the first to beat Fred this year, we have a good friendship, a good rivalry. I am very satisfied with my performance and hope to continue my good form."

Simbine's teammate Wayde van Niekerk confirmed his early-season form by scorching to an impressive victory in the men's 400m, with the world record holder clocking 44.08sec.

"It is my fastest run in seven years and 44.0 shows that 43 seconds is possible," said Van Niekerk, who has been beset by injury problems since winning Olympic gold in Rio in 2016.

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A trio of Madibaz student-athletes are preparing to test themselves against their international peers at the World University Games in a fortnight’s time.

Erin Harty (water polo), Mlamli Ndlondlo (judo) and Tjaart van der Walt (athletics) have been selected for South Africa for the Games in Chengdu, China, from 28 July to 8 August.

In another coup for Mandela University, Cheryl Kotze has been appointed manager of the swimming team.

The students are in the final phases of their preparation with the goal of peaking at just the right time. Van der Walt, who is studying Information Technology, said he felt ready to test himself at the highest level.

“As I’m still a junior in athletics terms, this is a great opportunity to step up to a senior phase in the sport,” the 400m specialist said.

The 19-year-old has represented the country on four occasions, but this will be his first trip to the World University Games.

He expects the competition to be tough and therefore his first objective is to ensure he runs a good time.

Van der Walt showed his potential when he ran a personal best of 46.55 seconds at an Athletics SA Grand Prix meet in Germiston in April.

Ndlondlo believes he has reaped the rewards for consistent performances.

“I know I will need to elevate my efforts to heights I have not yet accomplished, but I am fully focussed on doing well,” the Logistics graduate said.

The 24-year-old sees the occasion as an opportunity to continue his development. He has dedicated himself to the sport of judo by continuously working on being “better than I was yesterday”.

Utility water polo player Harty is thrilled to have another chance to compete for her country.

“It will be my first games. Being selected for SA to compete in a tournament of such high quality is honestly so special and something I will cherish,” the former national U17 and U19 player said.

A good dose of dedication has helped her reach performances worthy of the international stage and that no doubt will continue until she jets off to China.

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Top South African female, Kirsten Landman, heads into her first Hard Enduro race of the season post-Dakar Malle Moto Triumph.
With Dakar 2023 race a distant memory and a pulmonary embolism almost thwarting her season’s plans, South Africa’s most formidable female two-wheels competitor, Kirsten Landman, is gearing up for the start of her international Hard Enduro season at Red Bull Romaniacs between 25 to 29 July 2023.

The pulmonary embolism had Landman placed on strict doctor’s orders to rest. Three months of rest later, the embolism cleared, and Landman was cleared to exercise again. In preparation for Red Bull Romaniacs, Landman took part in Impi Hard in Bergville at the start of July.

“I think spending time in the saddle was important ahead of the race. I know that I can run that pace for extended periods and even push harder. Each day was upwards of five hours on the bike. Having not spent much time racing, I’m working with my trainer to build on my strength and tweak my overall fitness in the last two weeks to ensure I’m ready to tackle everything the race throws at you.”

Landman has competed in five editions of Red Bull Romaniacs, having made her first appearance in 2014 in the bronze class and earning the highest place female that year. This year she’s competing in the silver class.

Held in Sibiu, Romania, the race sees a four-day gruelling course through the city and Valcea Valley areas.

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Preparations are underway for South Africa to host the Polocrosse World Cup in 2024 and one of the exciting elements, is naming Team South Africa. Polocrosse South Africa shared who will be riding and flying the flag high.
Polocrosse is a team sport that is a combination of polo and lacrosse. Polo is a popular sport worldwide, while lacrosse is more popular in Northern America, but many countries are adopting the sport. The combined nature of both sports means a fun and active experience for riders.

“We are delighted to inform you of the official selection for the South African World Cup Team that will be representing our nation at the highly anticipated World Cup 2024.”

Ladies team:

Jacquie Minnaar (Vice-Captain)
Amy Cocker
Lauren Heynes
Olivia King
Ladies Coach: Henry Harris

Men’s team:

Jan Albert Steenkamp (Captain)
Stefan Harris
Joshua Le Roux
Chad von Benecke
Men’s Coach: James Hackland

Team Manager Jean Hackland will be keeping morale high in both camps.

“These individuals have proven themselves as remarkable athletes and true ambassadors of the sport. We have every confidence that they will exhibit extraordinary sportsmanship and teamwork.” – Polocrosse South Africa

Countries taking part in the upcoming World Cup earned their rankings during the 2019 Adina Polocrosse World Cup in Australia. South Africa will be welcoming teams from Australia, New Zealand, Zambia, England, Ireland, the United States of America and Zimbabwe.

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