It's Your Voice   UBUNTU Magazine   UBUNTU Radio  
If this newsletter doesn’t load or images don’t display, please click here
Consular Services - Travel Smart with DIRCO



President Cyril Ramaphosa has used his address at the Women’s Day event to encourage all sectors of society to advance and improve the lives of the women and girls of South Africa.

“We must mobilise all of society to support the women of our country on their road to empowerment and the improvement of their lives. As government, we are irrevocably committed to continuing the process of advancing and improving the lives of the women and girls of South Africa,” the President said on Wednesday, 9 August 2023 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The President was addressing the commemoration of Women’s Day, which is being celebrated under the theme, Accelerating Socio-Economic Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment.

This theme highlights the need to ensure that all women have access to participate equally in all areas of human endeavour.

“We call upon other key role players who control resources and can open opportunities for women to do so. Business is well placed to play a key role in this process of helping to improve the lives of the women of South Africa,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President outlined a number of areas that government and the private sector can address to advance and improve the lives of women.

He emphasised the importance of increasing the representation of women in all structures of society.

“Women must be well represented in key positions in government, in management, in the judiciary. The representation of women in decision-making structures continues to improve.

“In Cabinet, half of the ministers are women. In Parliament, in the judiciary, in the public service, in the armed forces, in the police and in many local councils, we are getting closer to gender parity,” President Ramaphosa said.

Acknowledging these gains, he said more needs to be done to achieve a society of true gender equality.

“There must be policies and laws that focus and advance the lives of women. Our laws and policies must have a bias towards improving the lives of women.

“Since the advent of democracy in 1994, we have put policies and laws in place to empower women, improve their lives and advance gender equality,” the President said.

While he called for the prioritisation of the advancement in education, he noted some achievements in that area.

This, as more female learners sit for matric than males. Female learners are achieving more Bachelor’s passes.

In addition, young women make up the majority of students enrolled in higher education institutions.

The President expressed concern over girls dropping out of school, often due to domestic responsibilities.

“As a society and as families and as a nation we must ensure that our girls stay at school and finish school. Women’s health outcomes continue to improve as a result of progressive policies around reproductive health, antenatal care, HIV and AIDS and other communicable diseases.

“Even though women’s health outcomes have improved by a number of indicators, women still carry the largest share of the burden of HIV and are more vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases.

“Despite our laws, women and girls in many parts of the country still struggle to access reproductive health services,” the President said.

Equal representation in the economy

The President called for the participation of women in the country’s economy to be improved.

“Our economy remains dominated by men. More women are unemployed than men. Women are more likely to work part-time, unskilled and semi-skilled jobs and for lower pay. Women are disproportionately responsible for unpaid care work.

“As a result of all these factors, women are more vulnerable to poverty, food insecurity and hunger. Even today, nearly three decades after the dawn of democracy, the face of poverty is a black woman.

“The emancipation of women therefore cannot be achieved without economic empowerment. Women must also be breadwinners. They must have equal job opportunities and equal pay. They must be able to start, own and manage businesses,” the President said.

He said women need to have the financial security and independence to have control over their lives.

“We are determined to make the most of available resources to make a difference in the lives of young women, women with disabilities, rural women and LGBTQIA+ women. We are making a difference in the lives of women in Small, Medium and Micro enterprises (SMMEs), in cooperatives and in the informal sector,” the President said.

Among other things, government is supporting women’s economic empowerment through public procurement.

Government has made a commitment to allocate at least 40% of public procurement to women-owned businesses.

“While government departments are working in earnest to award more contracts to women-owned businesses, we need to do much more. As things stand, less than a third of the companies listed on the government’s central supplier database are owned by women.

“We have trained more than 6 000 women entrepreneurs to take part in public procurement opportunities. The success of this programme has convinced us of the need to train many more entrepreneurs in their thousands.

“The African Continental Free Trade Area will give women-owned businesses in South Africa and across the continent access to new markets and opportunities. We are working with partners on opportunities for women’s employment and entrepreneurship in agriculture, manufacturing, technology, the oceans economy and others,” the President said.

He also mentioned that the green economy presents immense potential for women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment, especially in renewable energy.

“In a number of cities and towns there are many women who are established as green entrepreneurs working in recycling, in greening, in climate-smart agriculture and a number of other avenues.

We call on the business community to support women’s economic empowerment by partnering with small businesses as part of their green economy plans. There is also immense opportunity for young women in public employment initiatives,” the President said.

Presidential Employment Stimulus

Since it was established in 2020, the Presidential Employment Stimulus has provided work and livelihood opportunities to more than 1.2 million people. Of the participants in the programme, more than 60% are women.

The President has reiterated that the just transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient society protects the interests of women, as it does for all those affected, and that it offers opportunities for women workers and women-owned businesses.

Government is supporting women-owned businesses to expand and diversify. We are specifically increasing our support for women-owned SMMEs through the National Empowerment Fund, the Small Enterprise Finance Agency and others.

“Working with the financial services sector, we are looking to close the gender gap so that women can access banking services and credit for their businesses.

“As a country, we have the right policies and programmes in place. Led by the women of our country, we continue to develop policies that will advance their interests.

What we need now is to intensify the collective efforts of all social partners, including business, to do more to financially empower women,” the President said.

– Source:




President Cyril Ramaphosa has lauded female athletes for reaching new heights and achieving remarkable accomplishments across a number of sporting codes.

In his weekly newsletter on Monday, 7 August 2023, the President said that this had been a great year for women’s sport in South Africa and the nation is exhilarated by the successes of sportswomen on the field, track and pitch.

“Our female athletes have reached new heights across a number of sporting codes, and we have hosted several women’s international sports tournaments.

 “Our nation’s sportswomen have proven themselves, time and time again. It is up to us, as a society, to provide the necessary environment that will enable a new generation of women and girls to thrive and excel in sport,” the President said.

South Africa’s women’s national football team, Banyana Banyana, who is the reigning Women’s Africa Cup of Nations champions, has delivered some stunning performances in the FIFA Women’s World Cup taking place in Australia and New Zealand.

The women’s netball team, the Proteas, also put in a strong showing at the Netball World Cup that ended in Cape Town on Sunday.

In February, the country hosted the first ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup to take place on African soil. Our national team made history as the first South African team to reach the final.

The President said that many of these fine sportswomen had excelled despite humble beginnings, overcoming adversity and achieving success despite the odds.

“As we prepare to celebrate Women’s Day later this week, these many achievements are a reminder of how far we have come in building a South Africa where women are full and equal participants in society. They are also a reminder of how much further we still need to go,” he said.

President Ramaphosa said that the increased participation of women and girls in sport supported women’s empowerment and advanced gender equality.

He highlighted that earlier this year, United Nations Women launched the Sports for Generation Equality Initiative. It noted that sport held enormous capacity to propel women and girls’ empowerment. Female athletes are inspiring role models and can make the most of their status “to raise awareness around gender issues and to demand change”.

The President added that competing in sports fostered a sense of empowerment among women, helping them build confidence in their abilities and break gender stereotypes. Through sports, he said, women could challenge societal norms, experiencing personal growth and achievement.

He said that all of these could enable women and girls to be more assertive and confident in society and could support the fight against discrimination and gender-based violence.

“As government, we want to increase the representation of women in sport and promote the development of women’s sports both through mass participation and at an elite level.

“There are a number of government programmes to develop mass participation in women’s sports. There are also initiatives supported by the private sector and international development partners," he said.

When it comes to elite athletes, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s Operation Excellence Programme provides preparatory support to Olympians and Paralympians.

The President pointed out that funding and sponsorship predominantly went towards male-dominated team sports such as football, cricket and rugby. He said these sports had well-established professional leagues, unlike women's football, cricket and rugby.

The President highlighted that this situation added to the significant difference in pay between female athletes and their male counterparts.

“Equal pay for work of equal value is one of most fundamental tenets of gender equality. The sporting fraternity is neither exceptional nor is it exempt.

“That female athletes should still earn less than their male counterparts is an affront to our nation’s sportswomen, more so at a time when the achievements of some of our women’s sports teams surpass those of our men’s teams,” the President said.

He called on sponsors and sporting bodies to direct greater resources to women’s sports.

President Ramaphosa said it was only through greater sponsorship and support that women’s sport would be able to grow and attract larger audiences. As they attract a greater following, he said, women’s sports events would provide greater value to sponsors.

The President added that the success of the major women’s sports tournaments that had been hosted in South Africa would no doubt bolster our bid to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2027.

“Working together as government, business and the sporting fraternity, we can level the playing field for women’s sports in our country. And by so doing, we will take another step towards a more equal society,” he said.

– Source:




The Leaders of the African Peace Initiative have recognised progress achieved since the proposals discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin at their first meeting on 17 June 2023 in St Petersburg.

The leaders made proposals on humanitarian issues, in particular, related to the rights of children in areas of armed activities and prisoner exchanges between Russia and Ukraine, and agreed that humanitarian efforts would continue to bring further results.

The seven African leaders issued a joint statement on Thursday, 3 August 2023, following the engagement between them and the President of the Russian Federation on 28 July in St Petersburg, in the Russian Federation.

At that engagement, the leaders continued their discussion on the African Peace Initiative, which they started on 17 June 2023.

“The leaders called for specific steps to remove obstacles to Russian grain and fertiliser exports, thus allowing the resumption of the full implementation of the Black Sea package initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General as endorsed on 22 July 2022 in Istanbul,” the statement read.

The leaders further called upon the United Nations to take the necessary action to release 200 000 tons of Russian fertiliser blocked in European Union seaports for immediate and free delivery to African countries.

The leaders have agreed to continue their dialogue on the African Peace Initiative so that a door to peace can be opened.

African leaders attending the meeting on 28 July 2023 were:

  • President Azali Assoumani of the Comoros in his capacity as Chair of the African Union
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa
  • President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo
  • President Abdel Fattah-el Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt
  • President Macky Sall of the Republic of Senegal
  • President Yoweri Museveni of the Republic of Uganda
  • Foreign Minister of Zambia, Stanley Kakubo.

Advancing South Africa's international interests

President Ramaphosa has welcomed the Second Russia-Africa Summit Declaration that included cooperation in a number of strategic areas, including science and technology; energy; trade and investment; and defence and security cooperation.

This after he concluded a successful Working Visit to the Russian Federation where, together with leaders of African countries, a clear call for tangible and mutually beneficial and effective cooperation between Russia and the countries of the African continent was made during the summit, which took place in the country's cultural capital, St Petersburg.

President Ramaphosa highlighted the importance of a monitoring and evaluation mechanism that will assess the level and pace of implementation of the summit commitments.

He concluded his visit to Russia with a meeting at the Konstantinovsky Palace where the two presidents discussed South Africa and Russia’s bilateral relationship, which is built on strategic partnerships in several areas of cooperation, including energy, industry and agriculture.

“The discussions further sought to strengthen the two countries’ cooperation in the areas of education, science and technology, with a particular focus on space and satellite technology development,” spokesperson in The Presidency, Vincent Magwenya said.

Telephone call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

On Wednesday, 2 August 2023, President Ramaphosa held a telephone discussion with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada.

The Prime Minister expressed his deep appreciation for the 600 South African firefighters who demonstrated excellence and diligence during their support in extinguishing the wildfires that ravaged parts of Canada.

“In turn, Prime Minister Trudeau offered Canada’s support in the event South Africa experiences any form of disaster in the near future.

“The Prime Minister also expressed his appreciation for South Africa’s contribution to the African Peace Initiative to Russia and Ukraine and committed his support to search for a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Both leaders agreed to continue their bilateral cooperation and further collaborate in 2025, when Canada hosts the G7 summit, while South Africa will be hosting the G20,” Magwenya said.

– Source:



President Cyril Ramaphosa has, on behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, extended condolences to the Bédié family, the Government and the people of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, following the passing of the former Ivorian President, Henri Konan Bédié, on 1 August 2023.
Mr Bédié served as the Ivorian President from 1993 until 1999.

A visit by former President Bédié to South Africa in September 1998 was the first by an Ivorian Head of State. Through the visit, deeper relations between the two countries were forged.

“We send our deepest condolences to the family of former President Bédié and to the people of Côte d’Ivoire in general. We mourn with them and share in their loss,” President Ramaphosa said.

The Presidency said the passing of former President Bédié came at a time when the African continent is faced with great challenges, which require continental cooperation and unity to advance the goals of the African Union for peace, security and development.

“It is therefore imperative that Cote d'Ivoire and South Africa work together to bring peace and stability to the continent,” The Presidency said.

– Source:




Africa's first-ever Netball World Cup drew to a close at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town on Sunday, 6 August 2023, with Australia being crowned champions, but the legacy of the tournament is about much more than that.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was in attendance at the final, finding his voice during the contest and singing with the spectators before addressing the crowd at the closing ceremony.

The Proteas, who finished sixth at the World Cup, captured the hearts and imagination of the South African public and, with them in mind, President Ramaphosa vowed on Sunday to invest in the future of the sport.

"Congratulations to all who have participated in this tournament. You are all winners," said President Ramaphosa.

"There has been a very outstanding vibe here, and I felt it today. You got me to sing Shosholoza and created a wonderful African vibe, and I'm glad that all the nations participated in the wonderful spirit that prevailed in this tournament.

"We need to ensure that netball grows in South Africa, and to enable it to grow, we must build netball facilities throughout the country.

"(Liz) Nicholl (World Netball president) was whispering to me, saying the best thing to help SA Netball so they can also become winners of the World Cup is to build a netball arena.

"I'm happy to say at the closing ceremony, in Women's Month, that the gift that we are going to give to the women of South Africa is to build a netball arena.

"Let's enjoy the moment of great celebration for netball. It will grow in South Africa and we'll get many other nations to participate."

President Ramaphosa added that netball had "gained a new fan" after he had watched the spectacle on television.

‒ Source:



International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, is confident that the upcoming Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit will strengthen the bloc’s partnership and benefit the people of South Africa, BRICS, Africa and the global South.
“We call on South Africans to continue to extend the warmest of South African welcomes to the many official delegates, businesspeople, media and civil society, who will arrive from various parts of the continent and the world shortly for the summit,” Minister Pandor said on Monday, 7 August 2023.

The Minister was addressing members of the media on South Africa’s state of readiness to host the 15th BRICS Summit, scheduled from 22 to 24 August 2023 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Minister Pandor told the media that President Cyril Ramaphosa had confirmed South Africa’s readiness to host the upcoming BRICS Summit which will be hosted in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We chair BRICS in a dynamic global environment where the eyes of the world are on us. Developments in the ICC [International Criminal Court] were the sole topic of discussion around the summit for most of the year.

“We have consistently stated that we are aware of our domestic and international legal obligations. We have also been very conscious of the diplomatic implications of the narratives created around these developments.”

Following an intensive engagement with the five-nation grouping, BRICS, Minister Pandor reaffirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin would “actively” participate in the summit virtually.

Minister Pandor announced that the remaining leaders of Brazil, India, China and South Africa would attend physically.

BRICS Business Forum

Leading up to the summit, Minister Pandor said that the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and the BRICS Business Council would host a BRICS Business Programme from 19 to 23 August 2023.

The gathering, according to the Minister, seeks to foster economic growth, promote collaboration, attract investment and display opportunities within South Africa, Africa, and BRICS countries.

“All the BRICS business councils are bringing large business delegations to South Africa.”

South Africa’s overall trade with its BRICS partners, Minister Pandor said, had increased by an average growth of 10% between 2017 and 2021.

Minister Pandor told the media that the South African trade with BRICS reached R830 billion in 2022 from R487 billion in 2017. “Last year, BRICS accounted for 21% of South Africa’s global trade.”

South African industry leaders, BRICS experts and invited African businesses will engage in a range of dialogues.

Minister Pandor believes that this fosters an environment of collaboration, driving strategic economic partnerships to expand trade and investment opportunities, knowledge exchange and capacity-building.

Leaders’ retreat

“Following the Business Forum, the leaders will move to a quieter venue for the BRICS Leaders’ Retreat.” This is a signature event of South Africa as BRICS Chair where leaders meet in a comfortable setting in a private venue to discuss contemporary issues of importance. “There is no set agenda and leaders can initiate a discussion on issues of choice such as BRICS membership expansion, reform of global governance or use of local currencies.”

New Development Bank

The leaders will also discuss the New Development Bank (NDB), established by BRICS members in 2015 to play a catalytic role in providing financial support to emerging markets and developing countries for infrastructure and sustainable development. The bank, Minister Pandor said, had to date approved 12 projects in South Africa, valued at around US$5.4 billion, to improve service delivery in critical areas. Former President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, who was elected as President of the NDB this year, will engage with the BRICS leaders to talk about the management of the bank since her appointment.


BRICS leaders are also expected to discuss the issue of membership expansion. Minister Pandor said that the bloc has had formal expressions of interest from the leaders of 23 countries in joining BRICS.

The President has therefore invited 67 leaders from Africa and the global South to attend the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogues. To date, confirmations have been received from no less than 34 countries.

– Source:




While bilateral economic and trade relations between South Africa and New Zealand continue to increase steadily, more still needs to be done to boost growth.

This is according to the International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, who was delivering the opening remarks during the bilateral meeting with her New Zealand counterpart, Minister Nanaia Mahuta, in Cape Town on Friday, 4 August 2023.

According to Minister Pandor, total trade between the countries amounts to R3 billion, with exports to New Zealand at a total of R1 billion and imports from South Africa sitting at R2 billion.

South Africa, Minister Pandor said, was currently New Zealand’s 35th export market and the 18th-most important source of visitors.

“I’m sure that we can put shoulder to the wheel and work on improving these figures. We have the potential to trade more with each other,” she said.  
New Zealand’s ties with South Africa range from trade and tourism, agriculture, disarmament, fisheries, environment, indigenous and human rights issues, as well as sports.

The Minister reminded delegates that the relations dated back to the colonial era and recalled how during apartheid the island country led the way in isolating the regime.

“It’s something we never forget and continue to be grateful for. Who can forget how Labour Prime Minister, the inimitable David Lange in 1984, booted the last apartheid-era Consul General out of Wellington? We were proud to re-establish full diplomatic relations on 19 January 1994.”

She also spoke about how, in line with other Commonwealth countries, New Zealand lifted trade, investment and financial sanctions against apartheid following the inauguration of the first fully democratic South African Government in 1994.

New Zealand subsequently established a High Commission in Pretoria in 1996.

“President Nelson Mandela visited your country in 1995 to acknowledge and thank New Zealand for its support during the apartheid regime.

“Your country had one of the strongest and staunchest anti-apartheid movements in the world and the sports boycott that you upheld struck a huge blow to the apartheid regime and helped to bring the world’s attention to our struggle,” Minister Pandor said.

Meanwhile, Minister Pandor said since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, the countries had concluded nine signed agreements.

“I am thrilled that we will be signing a Memorandum of Cooperation on Bilateral Cooperation, as this will be another testimony of our growing relations.”

South Africa and New Zealand, she said, worked well together in a multilateral arena such as the United Nations and Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

They also share common views on international issues, such as the protection of the oceans and sustainable agricultural development and are strong supporters of nuclear non-proliferation.

“We are also two of the five gateway countries to Antarctica. I would like to hear more about how your country unlocks the economic benefits this brings as I am told that Christchurch’s economy thrives as a result, and we would like the same for Cape Town.”

In 2019, Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, announced changes in visa requirements, enabling New Zealanders to enter South Africa for 90 days visa-free for tourism purposes.

Minister Mahuta was expected to attend the Netball World Cup semi-final match in Cape Town on Saturday, 5 August 2023.

“I wish the Silver Ferns well, but not if they are playing against our Proteas,” the Minister Pandor quipped.

“I must say that I’m super proud of the way our Proteas played against your Silver Ferns, the reigning champs, and held them to a draw, what an electrifying game.”

Spar Proteas goal attacker, Nichole Taljaard, scored with seconds remaining to earn a 48 - 48 draw against the defending champions New Zealand at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Wednesday, 2 August.

Minister Pandor also congratulated New Zealand on the spectacular opening ceremony of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

– Source:



The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, has called on his partners from BRICS to develop science and innovation capacities across Africa for the creation of a better future for all.
Minister Nzimande was speaking on Friday, 4 August 2023, at the 2023 BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Ministerial Meeting on Science and Innovation in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape.

He told his counterparts from Brazil, Russia, India and China that one of the strategic objectives of the annual ministerial meeting was to provide an opportunity for a high-level exchange on science, technology and innovation (STI) policy.

The platform also aims to share information on priority investment areas, as well as national progress in the implementation of BRICS partnership initiatives. 

He told delegates that in 2022, the country witnessed a historic milestone in science policy development with the adoption of the Decadal Plan.

The Decadal Plan, approved by Cabinet, focusses on growing South Africa by finding sources of new economic growth for a re-industrialised and modern economy.

“Although prepared by my department, it is not only a plan for the Department of Science and Innovation, or for Government alone, but for all of South Africa,” he said.

The plan also seeks to put STI at the heart of South Africa’s growth and development agenda.

Meanwhile, the Innovation and Skills Compact will undertake, among others, a regulatory reform to create a more enabling policy environment for innovation in South Africa.

It will also forge a closer collaboration between higher education and training bodies and employers to ensure that skills development better corresponds to the needs of the economy. 

“Our plan does not identify priorities [of] scientific disciplines or technology platforms in their own right, but instead focus on the collective and holistic response of South African science and innovation to key societal challenges confronting South Africa.

“This approach notably foresees a central role by the social sciences and humanities, which remains a priority investment area.”

He also touched on strengthening BRICS collaboration, namely vaccine manufacturing, the hydrogen economy and the marine sciences. 

“The Decadal Plan proposes a new dedicated programme on innovation for a healthy South African population. 

“This programme will focus on both physical and mental health; build on our existing successes in for example the fight against infectious diseases such as HIV-AIDS, while also reinforcing our pandemic preparedness.”

The Minister said developing South Africa’s vaccine manufacturing capabilities would be a priority investment area. 

“Our objective is to develop a viable local vaccine manufacturing industry in South Africa, which will notably address African concerns regarding the security of supply.”

The plan will also zoom into energy security as a priority, which has led to the implementation of South Africa’s Hydrogen Society Roadmap.

The roadmap also seeks to exploit South Africa’s unique comparative advantage, the endowment of 75% of global platinum metals group reserves.

“We have made excellent progress in developing new hydrogen and fuel cell technologies and are keen to join forces with BRICS partners in this enterprise.

“Opportunities are abound in areas such as the decarbonisation of transport and the production of green hydrogen, including as part of a dedicated Platinum Valley;  spatial and economic development initiative.”

Minister Nzimande said the country was also committed to the marine sciences and the development of a blue economy. 

He explained that cooperation with partners in the global South and strengthening multilateralism and solidarity through our BRICS STI partnership was a priority of the highest order. 

“I, therefore, have every confidence that our BRICS partners will join us in an effort, within the spirit of generosity President Mandela spoke about, to also develop science and innovation capacities across Africa. This will be a lasting contribution of our shared objective of creating a better future for all, ensuring no one is left behind.”

– Source:




South African Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, together with health ministers from Brazil, Russia, India and China on Friday, 4 August 2023, adopted the declaration of the 13th BRICS Health Ministers Meeting during the last day of BRICS health events taking place at the Durban International Convention Centre in the run-up to the 15th BRICS Summit.

The meeting culminated with the media briefing to allow the ministers to outline the outcomes/resolutions of the four-day discussions, which included, among others: the establishment of BRICS Nuclear Medicine to prevent/reduce the risks of deaths from oncology diseases and improve the quality of life of palliative care patients; and creation of the BRICS Tuberculosis (TB) Research Network to reduce the burden of TB in the member states, which account for about 40% of the world’s burden of TB.

The ministers also elaborated on the significance of building common and integrated early warning systems to prevent mass infectious diseases risk and exchange of knowledge and best practices of integrating traditional medicine into the health system.  

– Source:



The Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga, on Friday, 4 August 2023, welcomed her Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) counterpart, the Minister of Transport and Communication Channels, Marc Ekila Likombo, joined by a delegation of senior transport and technical experts from the DRC.
The visit and engagement of the two ministers was preceded by a Transport Dialogue and Technical Workshop gathering of senior technical officials and experts from both countries covering various transport modes and entities of the department.

South Africa and the DRC has negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Transport-Related Matters since 2016. The MoU provides for cooperation in the following areas:

  • civil aviation
  • merchant shipping and maritime-related matters
  • land transport infrastructure
  • land transport safety
  • transport services
  • road traffic management
  • exchange of technical expertise and technology transfer.

As part of this visit, Minister Chikunga and Minister Likombo undertook a detailed programme of transport infrastructure site visits, inspections and walk abouts in several provinces and key points during which Minister Chikunga shared and showcased South Africa’s best practice transport infrastructure across the various modes.

Following the robust engagements and deliberations, the senior officials and technical experts consolidated reports for Minister Chikunga and Minister Likombo to sign as bilateral agreements on transport-related matters to enhance economic benefits for both countries.




Thuli Madonsela has been appointed to the United Nations (UN) Scientific Advisory Board, bringing pride to South Africa and contributing to global science-based policy and decision-making.

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has unveiled a brand-new Scientific Advisory Board.

This exciting initiative aims to guide UN leaders on the latest science and technology breakthroughs and how to harness their potential while addressing possible risks.

“Scientific and technological progress can be a powerful ally in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, but it also raises ethical, legal and political questions that demand global solutions,” emphasised Mr Guterres.

At the heart of this remarkable board lies a mission to strengthen the UN’s credibility as a trusted source of data and evidence. Comprising seven distinguished scholars alongside chief scientists from various UN entities, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology and the Rector of the UN University, this ensemble is a force to be reckoned with.

One of the esteemed members on the Advisory Board is Professor Thuli Madonsela, a beacon of hope and inspiration from South Africa. Her appointment underscores the unwavering dedication of UN leaders to uphold the principles of the scientific method and embrace evidence-based policies. With a primary objective of providing independent insights on the interplay between science, technology, ethics, governance and sustainable development, the board and its network will support UN leaders in leveraging the latest scientific advancements for the betterment of people, planet and prosperity.

Prof. Madonsela, known for her exceptional contributions to law and justice, will play a pivotal role in ensuring that UN policies and programmes are firmly rooted in the best available scientific evidence and expertise. In a world brimming with rapid scientific and technological progress, her expertise will help navigate the complex moral, social and political dilemmas we face.

The creation of the Scientific Advisory Board marks a momentous stride towards bridging the gap between science and policy. This initiative heralds an era where the UN embraces the full potential of science and technology for the collective benefit of all member states.

Members on the UN Scientific Advisory Board are:

  • Professor Yoshua Bengio, AM.Turing Award, Scientific Director of Mila — Quebec AI Institute, Full Professor, Department of Computer Science and Operations Research, Université de Montréal
  • Professor Sandra Díaz, Senior Principal Investigator CONICET and Professor of Ecology Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina
  • Professor Saleemul Huq, Director: International Centre for Climate Change and Development, Independent University Bangladesh
  • Professor Fei-Fei Li, Sequoia Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University; Denning Family Co-Director, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI, Stanford University
  • Professor Alan Lightman, Professor of the Practice of the Humanities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Professor Thuli Madonsela, Professor of Law, Stellenbosch University
  • Professor Thomas C Südhof, Nobel Laureate, Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University School of Medicine.

South Africa proudly celebrates Prof. Madonsela’s appointment to this prestigious board. Her presence signifies a powerful voice advocating for science-based policy and decision-making on the global stage.

‒ Source:



One of the most-anticipated global gallery events of the year is dedicating its entire exhibition, “Human Stories”, to South African photographers.
Across the world, cultures intersect, inspire and enchant one another. So, it only makes sense that this year’s Human Stories series by NOW Gallery in London is dedicating its 2023 event to one of the most culturally rich places on Earth, South Africa, through the lenses of South African photographers.

As one of the most exciting exhibitions of its kind worldwide, Human Stories has become a highly anticipated event, showcasing the names-to-know in the world of photography, and we couldn’t be more proud to see South Africa’s up-and-coming in the spotlight, together for the “Young South Africa” exhibition.

From October to November 2023, six South African photographers will take the gallery’s centre stage, each documenting the culture they have experienced in South Africa through visual tellings:

  • Bee Diamondhead
  • Fede Kortez
  • Aart Verrips
  • Nikki Zakkas
  • Anita Hlazo
  • Ben Moyo
  • Karabo Mooki.

The exhibition is spotlighting artists who capture “creative empowerment”, which is something worth fighting for and worth getting excited about. Despite all the challenges we face as South Africa, creativity continues to grow, enriching all of us ‒ locals and global onlookers ‒ in return.

Each of the photographers will bring a different perspective to the exhibition; from Anita Hlazo’s Nganga’s fashion through a lens, to Joburg’s Nikki Zakkas who narrates her work uniquely through her subject’s cultural riches.

Then there’s Aart Verrips and the idea of the Rainbow Nation reimagined through different forms of self-expression.

“’We are thrilled to feature exceptional South African talent in sharing their creativity through lived experiences. The show will reflect a fresh creative agency that embodies the evocative music culture, distinct sense of identity and political articulation of the young people of South Africa.” ‒Kaia Charles, curator.

‒ Source:




One of Cape Town’s most iconic attractions, Boulders Beach, has been named as one of the “50 Best Beaches in the World”.

Cape Town’s beaches are known to be some of the most incredible and beautiful beaches in the world, and now Big 7 Travel has only just proven that, by naming one of the Mother City’s beach gems among the “50 Best Beaches in the World”.

The global travel site recently released their annual “50 Best Beaches in the World” list, using aggregated scores from previous media results, official Blue Flag beach locations and contributions from their editorial team.

According to the list, Boulders Beach ranked at number 32, with the beach being described as:

“Boulders Beach is more famous for its inhabitants than its sandy stretches. A whole colony of as many as 3 000 African penguins nest on the beach. The best time to see them is during the summertime. The cool, clear False Bay water and rock pools are an added bonus.”

‒ Source:



A new study has found that Cape Town’s Table Mountain is the fifth most popular natural wonder of the world.
South Africans have always known that Table Mountain is something special, but now a new study has revealed that Cape Town’s iconic mountain is the fifth most popular natural wonder of the world.

According to a United Kingdom travel website, Titan Travel – which gathered data from Instagram, TikTok, Google search volumes and Tripadvisor reviews – Table Mountain was found to be one of the world’s best natural wonders, beating other famous mountains like Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Cape Town’s famous peak ranked as the fifth natural wonder of the world, with an overall “wonder score” of 7.67 out of 10.

The mountain also has an impressive 81.83% of “excellent” reviews and only 0.26% of “terrible” reviews.

The data also showed that Table Mountain had 1.4 million Google searches, 44.5 million TikTok views and 1.3 million Instagram posts.

The study also revealed the other natural wonders which placed in the Top 10:

  • Arches National Park, United States
  • Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil
  • Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe
  • The Grand Canyon, United States
  • Table Mountain, South Africa
  • The Matterhorn, Switzerland and Italy
  • Mount Everest, Nepal
  • The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  • Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
  • Angel Falls, Venezuela.

‒ Source:



The Western Cape’s Plettenberg Bay has officially become a Whale Heritage Site (WHS), one of only three in South Africa.
Plettenberg Bay, or ‘‘Plett”, as it’s affectionately known by locals, has joined two other local spots to become South Africa’s third WHS.

According to Tourism Update, the town joins The Bluff and Algoa Bay as the third WHS in the country, and one of only seven fully accredited WHS designations worldwide.

Plettenberg Bay is also located between two marine-protected areas, Tsitsikamma and Robberg, and supports a variety of ocean wildlife, including Humpback whales, Southern Right whales, Bryde’s whales, Orcas and Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphins.

Melissa Theron, General Manager at The Plettenberg Hotel, told Tourism Update that the WHS status would do great things for marine tourism in Plett, as it provided a clear marker for discerning guests who want to support sustainable marine practices.

What is the Whale Heritage Site Programme?

The WHS Programme, established by the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA), recognises outstanding locations where cetaceans like whales, dolphins or porpoises are embraced through the cultural, economic, social and political lives of associated communities and where people and cetaceans co-exist in an authentic and respectful way.

According to the WHS website, “Plettenberg Bay plays an important role within the larger ecosystem, boasting a breathtaking blend of pristine beaches, winding rivers, serene lagoons, ancient indigenous forests and the vast expanse of the sea. The marine-protected area serves as a crucial feeding and nursery ground for a wide variety of resident and migratory cetacean species, with the Southern Right whale being one of the most notable and representative inhabitants.”

Other WHS include Hervey Bay, Australia; Tenerife-La Gomera Marine Area, Spain; Dana Point, United States; and The Azores, Portugal.

‒ Source:



Two ballerinas from a South African dance studio, Orlovska Dance Academy in Johannesburg, recently made stunning podium placements at the most prestigious international ballet competition on the continent, the South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC).
In the world of ballet, this event means serious business. In fact, you have to audition just to be part of the competition.

Here, budding ballerinas, Rahl Burke (bronze) and Noelia Schulz (silver) competed against students from top-ranking dance institutions around the world and faced a panel of revered judges, including artistic directors of national ballets.

But the fierce competition saw two diamonds shine under the pressure with efforts so stunning that one of the dancers was awarded a scholarship to one of the best ballet schools in the world, the Berlin State Ballet School.

Sitting on the judges panel and this year adjudicators were Ted Brandsen, Director of The Dutch National Ballet; Madame Feng, Director of the Beijing Ballet; Hyo Jung Jun, Director of Incheon Ballet in South Korea and a former gold medallist at the inaugural SAIBC in 2008; Carol Kinsey, former principal ballerina with CAPAB Ballet and Cape Town City Ballet; Christoph Boehm from the Berlin State Ballet School; and Javier Monier Jr from Cuba, who is currently a member of Mzansi Ballet in Johannesburg.

Both budding ballerinas made big impressions

While bronze placer Burke (16) was offered an official scholarship at the Berlin State Ballet School by one of the judges, Christoph Boehm, silver shiner Schulz (11) also made a big impression and was personally invited by Christoph to join the Berlin State Ballet School.

Alisia Orlovska, the owner of the dance studio, stated that “studying at one of the best dance institutions in the world, such as Berlin State Ballet School would offer Rahl and Noelia an abundance of opportunities, primarily a real chance to join one of the best companies in the world, such as Berlin Ballet Company – StaatsBallett Berlin, or Royal Ballet in the United Kingdom.

“The teachers at the Berlin State Ballet School are [some] of the best teachers in the world, which would give Rahl and Noelia an opportunity to attain international training.”

‒ Source:



Banyana suffered a 2-0 defeat against the Netherlands in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Women's World Cup round of 16 on Sunday, 6 August 2023.
However, head coach, Desiree Ellis, says her players can keep their heads held up high as they exceeded expectations.

The target for Banyana now is the next World Cup in 2027, which the South African Football Association is contesting to host.

Ellis says South Africa will be beaming with pride at the national team despite their heartbreaking FIFA Women's World Cup round of 16 defeat to the Netherlands.

Goals from Jill Roord in the ninth minute, and Lineth Beerensteyn midway through the second half, ended Banyana's fairytale tournament at Sydney's Allianz Arena in front of a crowd of 40 000.

Banyana defeated Italy 3-2 in their final Group G clash on Wednesday, 2 August, to book their place in the knockout rounds and became the first South African national soccer side to achieve that feat. 

But Dutch goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar, who was the official player of the match, was in superb form, saving seven shots, four coming from Banyana superstar Thembi Kgatlana.

"I can only tell you one thing - if their goalkeeper gets player of the match what does that tell you? Once again, we created chances and made errors at critical stages," Ellis said during her post-match interview.

"But I am very proud of these players. They gave their all today. They know that they were in the game and that is what we said: We are going to come here and put up a fight.

"In the second half, the legs ran out, the tiredness and fatigue sunk in, but we still tried to create a few opportunities. South Africa can be very proud of this team.

"When we came the first time to the World Cup [in 2019], we said that we definitely want to come back. And now, we definitely want to come back [again]. I think this team has grown and matured."

SAFA is contesting the bid to host the 2027 Women's World Cup, with the final decision to be confirmed by FIFA early next year.

Banyana, ranked 54th, had exceeded expectations at the jointly hosted tournament in Australia and New Zealand, which is the ninth edition of the Women's World Cup.

Ellis' charges were locked and pinned in the so-called "group of death", which had the likes of Sweden (3rd), Argentina (28th) and Italy (16th).

‒ Source:



Brad Binder earned a P3 standing for the British MotoGP at Silverstone this weekend, facing a challenging track, he fought his way to the top three.
Binder pipped Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira to third place at Sunday’s British Grand Prix. As the rain began to get heavier, Binder made a brilliant move into second place with Oliveira then getting past the South African with just a few laps left of the challenging, wet race. Binder finally saw his chance to make a move with two laps left to get past Oliveira.

Commenting on the Silverstone track conditions, he said it was a tricky ride but credited his bike and team for their excellent support.

“Really tricky. This track is so big and covers so much space. It was wet in some sectors and others bone dry. Hats off to my team, they did an amazing job. My bike worked fantastic. I would have loved to have gotten the win today, but third will have to do.”

Binder took to Instagram to share his thoughts on the race and his hopes for Austria, which is the KTM team’s home country.

“That was a difficult race but the podium feels great! Hats off to my team for giving me my best bike today. It was fantastic. Would’ve liked to bring home a win but it gives me some extra motivation for our next race on home soil in Austria.”

Binder managed to hold his fourth overall position for the Championship, adding a few extra points to his score.

2023 MotoGP World Championship standings

  1. Francesco Bagnaia ITA Ducati: 214 points
  2. Jorge Martin SPA Ducati: 173
  3. Marco Bezzecchi ITA Ducati: 167
  4. Brad Binder RSA Red Bull KTM: 131
  5. Johann Zarco FRA Ducati: 122.

‒ Source:




Team South Africa performed phenomenally well at the Federation International Sports of University (FISU) World University Games in China – by 4 August, the team had already earned eight medals.

The FISU World University Games took place in Chengdu, China, and Team South Africa flew the flag high, earning medals and big wins.

The FISU World University Games are staged every two years in a different city. This celebration of international university sports and culture draws many thousands of student-athletes together to compete, making it among the world’s largest and most prestigious multi-sport events.

This year, the games were hosted in China and ran from 28 July to 8 August 2023.

Christian de Klerk won the first medal for Team SA, with a second-place finish in the Men-Compound in archery.

“I never thought I would achieve something like this. I attended the previous one where I finished seventh, my only goal here was to finish better than seventh but finishing second is a bit unreal,” De Klerk said.

Twenty-five-year-old Erin Gallagher broke the 50m women’s butterfly South African and FISU world record, which has stood since 2005 in Gwangju, by a split second. She was able to soak in the glory for all of 30 seconds until Zhang Yufei swam and broke her record with a time of 25.29.

It didn’t take too long though for Gallagher to add a medal to the tally. She earned a silver in the 50m butterfly final. She also went on to break her record and set a new South African record time of 25.66.

Shaun Maswanganyi earned a sliver in the 100m with a time of 10.06. Having only recently returned to the track, this was a big accomplishment for the athlete.

Charne Swart earned a bronze medal in the women’s 800m for the team and a short while later, Marlie Viljoen became the first gold medallist for South Africa.

Kaylene Corbett added a silver medal to the tally with her stellar performance in the 100m women’s breaststroke. Gallagher then added a second silver to her count and upped the total for Team SA with another swimming success.

Javelin thrower, Jana Van Schalkwyk, set a new personal best and earned a bronze medal. It is worth also noting that not only was Team South Africa present, but talented sports photographer, Skhu Nkomphela, joined the team to take all the incredible photos. He shared his excitement when in 2020 he received his official letter from FISU to be an accredited photographer at the event in 2023.

“Never in my dreams have I ever thought a boy from the small town of Cofimvaba would lead on the World stage … I’ll forever be humble and grateful to serve”.

‒ Source:



SA Para swimmers have done the absolute most at this year’s World Para Swimming Championships. If gold medal wins weren’t enough, the team has also broken records left, right and centre and South Africa overflows with pride.
Kat Swanepoel set a winning tone for South African Para swimmers at the World Para Swimming Championships, and the moments of success have continued to pour in ever since.

After Swanepoel’s silver victory last week, Team SA has accumulated gold and bronze wins, breaking multiple African records in the process.

Big moments included Alani Ferreira setting a new African record for the 100m butterfly (S12) and the 100m breaststroke (S12); Nathan Hendricks crushing his personal best in the 100m freestyle (S13); Christian Sadie’s two African records for backstroke (100m S7 and 50m S7); and multiple African record smashes for Swanepoel (50m breaststroke SB9, 100m freestyle S4, 150m individual medley SM4 and 50m backstroke, S4).

By day four, Ferreira, Hendricks, Sadie, Swanepoel and 16-year-old Danika Vyncke all secured spots in the final, an epic ode to this team’s talent.

Swanepoel bagged not one, but two gold medals for her backstroke and individual medley heats.

Coming in hot on Swanepoel’s heels, Ferreira scored bronze for her 100m breaststroke.

‒ Source:



The seventh Commonwealth Youth Games kicked off on Friday, 4 August 2023, on the Islands of Trinidad and Tobago, with Team SA flying the flag high for fans back home.
The South Africans join over 1 000 athletes and Para-athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 from around the world, who will participate in seven sports, managed by more than 500 officials, until 11 August.

SA Netball’s Karla Victor (18) of Oranje Girls High School in Bloemfontein and cycling’s Ethan Kulsen (17) of Klein Nederburg Secondary School in Paarl, were flag bearers for Team South Africa during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Youth Games at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

According to the Commonwealth Youth Games’ website, it is “an invaluable springboard for the stars and leaders of tomorrow, contributing to the further development of youth sport throughout the Commonwealth.”

The games have traditionally taken place every four years, but the 2021 games were postponed to 2023 due to the impact of the pandemic on the international sport calendar.

‒ Source:

Stay connected with us
facebook youtube

For back issues of NewsFlash, visit:


video button video button fina winners