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Ahead of Human Rights Day later this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa has reminded the country that “we cannot truly be free until all people are free”.
Speaking to the nation through his weekly newsletter, the President said all people, everywhere, have basic rights and should be free to exercise them.

“As we continue to work towards realising the basic human rights of all South Africans, we are reminded that these rights are universal. That all people, everywhere, have basic rights and should be free to exercise them. We are reminded that we cannot truly be free until all people are free,” he said.

President Ramaphosa stressed the importance of being aware of the worsening human rights situation globally.

“When we consider the deteriorating state of human rights and fundamental freedoms in many parts of the world today, we are mindful that we have a moral responsibility to strive for the achievement of human rights not just for our own people, but for all people across the world.

“As we commemorate the tragic events that took place in Sharpeville in 1960, and recommit ourselves to the cause of human freedom, we stand firm in our position that human rights for only some are human rights for none. Let us all continue to advance and protect the human rights of all who live in South Africa,” the President said.
President Ramaphosa further reflected that over the past three decades, the country has worked together to undo the terrible legacy of apartheid.

However, he said, the effects of apartheid persist across society – whether it is in health, educational and developmental outcomes, access to basic services and infrastructure, or in the racialised nature of poverty, unemployment, inequality and exclusion.

“Human Rights Month is an opportunity to assess the progress we have made over the past three decades to advance the Bill of Rights set out in our Constitution, as well as to reflect honestly on where we have fallen short,” he said.

He added that the results of Census 2022 released last year highlight the progress made as a country in giving effect to the rights contained in the Constitution.

The pro-poor policies of the democratic state have lifted millions out of absolute poverty, expanded access to basic services, improved educational and health outcomes for the country’s majority, and broadened participation in economic activity.

“As we head into our country’s seventh democratic election this year, we are further reminded of the fundamental freedoms South Africans enjoy today. These include freedom of conscience and opinion, the right to assembly and demonstration, freedom of association and wide-ranging political rights.

“We also have a free, independent media that plays a critical role in promoting transparency and accountability.

“We have to stand together united as we work for the realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. We should not be in denial about our shortcomings and strive to overcome them with urgency. For millions of South Africans, lack of access to basic services, unemployment and lack of opportunity affect the most fundamental of human rights – the right to dignity,” he said.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Thursday, 21 March 2024, deliver a keynote address at the national commemoration of Human Rights Day to be held in Sharpeville, Sedibeng District Municipality, in the Gauteng province.
The President will commence the day with a wreath-laying ceremony scheduled for 10:00 at the Sharpeville Memorial Site, after which he will deliver a keynote speech at the George Thabe Cricket Grounds in Sharpeville.

“Ahead of addressing the national event, the President, joined by bereaved families of fallen victims, will commence with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Sharpeville memorial in honour of the fallen Sharpeville Massacre victims,” The Presidency said in a statement.

The national event coincides with the 30th anniversary of freedom and democracy, and will be held under the theme, Three Decades of Respect for and Promotion of Human Rights.
The month of March will be used to reflect on the country's achievements to promote respect for basic human rights and restore human dignity in line with the Bill of Rights.

Human Rights Month is commemorated to remind South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa.

It also commemorates the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960, where peaceful protestors marching against discriminatory pass laws were fatally shot by the apartheid police and others were wounded.

“The hosting of the event in Sharpeville symbolises the government’s commitment to honour the sacrifices made by those who fought and died for our liberation in Sharpeville and other communities throughout South Africa,” The Presidency said.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has lauded King Dinuzulu ka Cetshwayo as a visionary and freedom fighter, who fought and greatly sacrificed for the freedom enjoyed by the country today.
President Ramaphosa was paying tribute to King Dinuzulu at the 110th commemoration of the death of the former Zulu monarch at KwaCeza Sports Field in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The President commenced the commemoration by paying his respects at the King Dinuzulu Memorial in Emakhosini, where the honours of a wreath laying ceremony took place.

Reflecting on his legacy, the President said it was an honour that the late King’s life is being celebrated at a time when the country is also celebrating 30 years of democracy and freedom.

“...The honour is even greater in that as we commemorate and celebrate the life of King Dinuzulu, we are also celebrating 30 years of democracy and freedom in South Africa.

“It is a freedom that many, including iSilo uDinuzulu, fought for and greatly sacrificed for. We are here to pay homage to Inkosi Yamakhosi, a visionary and a freedom fighter, who, despite the yoke of oppression and bondage inflicted on him and his people, never wavered,” President Ramaphosa said on Saturday, 16 March 2024.
The President said like many before him and elsewhere who led their people in fighting against colonial invaders, his fight was not only for one group of people, in one area. He said it was a collective struggle for freedom for all the oppressed people of South Africa, even though his battle theatre was in KwaZulu.

“Since the colonisers first arrived on our soil, our forebearers, the Khoi, the San, the amaXhosa, the amaZulu, AbeSotho, Batswana, BaVenda, BaShangane, ba Dzonga, BaPedi, the Xhu and the Khwe, Ama Swati all took up arms in defence of our sovereignty, in defence of the land, and in defence of our people.

“Long before the founding of the African National Congress in 1912, it was traditional and indigenous leaders at the forefront of the resistance against colonialism,” the President said.

The President further elaborated on King Dinuzulu’s love for education and music, which went on to have a big impact on the Zulu Royal Household.

He said that he embraced education and his children, including Princess Magogo and her brother King Solomon, were all sent to school.

“He became deeply involved in the arts. Earlier in his life, he had been a prolific composer of Amahubo esiZulu. On St Helena [where he was exiled], he played the piano and the organ, and developed a love for church hymns that he sang in isiZulu and English.

“This love for music led to the spread of choral music and other transitional styles like isicathamiya, maskandi and others, which are unique to the Zulu Kingdom,” he said

President Ramaphosa described King Dinuzulu as one of the country’s greatest forebears.

“On this 110th anniversary commemoration of one of our greatest forebears, we must ensure that the story of this son of the African soil is not lost in the annals of history, but that it continues to be told by generations to come.

“As government departments, provinces and municipalities, we continue to embrace our cultural heritage and liberation history,” he said.

The President told the gathering that liberation tourism had a key role to play in developing the economy of the province and the country as a whole. He called on the private sector to be part of this endeavour aimed at preserving the story of South Africa's liberation.

“It is important that these events and activities be translated into sustainable socio-economic endeavours aimed at job creation in the related sectors.

“It will also be important that our academics and intellectuals are engaged in the documentation of our history. For us to know where we are going, we have to know where we come from as a people,” he said.

President Ramaphosa emphasised that with the foundation laid by forebears such as King Dinuzulu, the country shall overcome poverty, inequality, unemployment and underdevelopment.

“We are mindful that the struggle for liberation was waged by those who were robbed of enjoying their own youth, as was the case with Inkosi uDinuzulu.

“We shall not fail to make them proud. We shall ensure that their struggle and sacrifice was not in vain. We shall ensure that we leave no-one behind,” he said.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has, in accordance with section 4(1) (a) read with section 5(1) (a) of the South African Reserve Bank Act 90 of 1989 (SARB Act), and after consultations with the Minister of Finance and the board of directors of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), reappointed Mr Elias Lesetja Kganyago as Governor of the SARB for a period of five years with effect from 9 November 2024. The reappointment of Governor Kganyago will ensure continuity and institutional stability at the SARB.
Furthermore, the President has reappointed Ms Nomfundo Tshazibana and Dr Rashad Ismail Cassim as Deputy Governors of the SARB for a period of five years with effect from 1 August 2024.

Following the end of term of office for former Deputy Governor Kuben Naidoo in 2023, President Ramaphosa has appointed Dr Mampho Modise as the new Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank for a period of five years with effect from 1 April 2024. The President has expressed his gratitude to former Deputy Governor Naidoo for his contribution to the Reserve Bank and wishes Dr Modise well in her new role.

Dr Modise is currently the Deputy Director-General for Public Finance division in the National Treasury. She started her career as an intern at the South African Reserve Bank in 2004 and progressed to role of economist at the bank. Dr Modise left the SARB in 2009 to join the National Treasury, where she started as a senior economist in the Economic Policy division.

She was soon promoted to Director: Fiscal Policy, then to the Chief Director: Strategy and Risk Management in the Asset and Liability Management division of the National Treasury. In 2017, she was promoted to the position of Deputy Director-General. Dr Modise completed her tertiary education at the University of Pretoria, obtaining her BCom Economics, BCom Honours Econometrics, MCom Econometrics (cum laude) and a PhD in Economics.

The South African Reserve Bank Act of 1989 provides for the President to appoint the Governor along with three Deputy Governors and four Directors of the SARB. Section 4 (1) (a) states that: “The Bank shall have a board of fifteen directors, consisting of a Governor and three Deputy Governors (of whom one shall be designated by the President of the Republic as Senior Deputy Governor) who shall be appointed by the President of the Republic, after consultation with the Minister and the Board, as well as four other directors appointed by the President, after consultation with the Minister.”

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa officially opened and addressed the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa in Cape Town on Tuesday,19 March 2024.
The Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa (SIDSSA) took place from 17 to 19 March 2024 in Century City where key stakeholders, experts and decision-makers explored partnerships between the public and private sectors as well as pivot infrastructure investment opportunities in South Africa.

Hosted by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure in its the third iteration, the symposium was intended to shape the conversations about regulatory and policy reforms among them innovative funding models for infrastructure development.

The keynote address at the symposium was delivered by President Ramaphosa and Deputy President Paul Mashatile delivered an address at the stakeholder dinner on 18 March 2024. Various ministers and deputy ministers anchored various panel discussions and technical discussions throughout the symposium.
SIDSSA 2024 will showcase the following outcomes:
  • Launch of the construction book: A repository of infrastructure projects going into procurement/construction in the 2024/2025 financial year
  • Leaders’ forum: A gathering of South African ministers with 22 participating ministers from the African continent
  • Top 12 Infrastructure project priorities: These projects will receive project preparation funding from Infrastructure South Africa
  • Signing of MOU’s with important partners and stakeholders

The symposium will also provide the following updates:

  • Update on the gazetted strategic integrated projects
  • Update on the projects already receiving project preparation support
  • Infrastructure fund project pipeline.

– Source:

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday, 20 March 2024, delivered the keynote address at the second Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.
President Ramaphosa participated in the inaugural Conference in 2022.

The event aimed to acknowledge the contributions by black industrialists to the economy while reflecting on progress made in advancing redress and transforming a skewed racialised economy.

The event also presented an opportunity to discuss further initiatives to strengthen economic transformation in support of greater diversity in ownership in the economy.
The objective of the black industrialists programme is to increase participation of black South Africans in the ownership and control of productive enterprises in key sectors and the entire value chain of the country’s economy.

More than 600 firms supported by the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition (the dtic) showed a turnover of about R80 billion during the 2023/24 financial year, illustrating the tangible results of drawing more black entrepreneurs into the industrial economy.

The event featured an exhibition that showcased proudly South African products manufactured by black industrialists and an awards ceremony that will recognise and reward industrialists who have contributed significantly to industrialisation, job creation, poverty alleviation, innovation and transformation efforts.

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The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, will undertake a Working Visit to the United States of America (US) and the Caribbean Island of Jamaica, from 18 to 26 March 2024.
The purpose of Minister Pandor’s visit to the US is to engage in high-level consultations and discussions with various stakeholders and organisations, ranging from government, non-governmental, captains of businesses, academia and key figures.

Minister Pandor will speak at the reception hosted in honour of anti-apartheid activists and the South African Diaspora in Washington DC.

Other activities include participating in a roundtable discussion with the US-Africa Business Centre; Fireside Chat hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; engagements with members of religious organisations as well as meeting members of congress.

In Jamaica, Minister Pandor will have a Bilateral Meeting with her counterpart HE Ms Kamina Smith Johnson, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica.

The two ministers will co-chair the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers.

CARICOM is a group of developing countries of the Caribbean that work together for the benefit of economic growth and trade.

Minister Pandor is also scheduled to deliver a lecture at the University of the West Indies, under the theme The Road to Development, Connecting the Diaspora: The Role of CARICOM in the Realisation of Agenda 2063, using the AfCFTA as a vehicle to Advance Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Minister Pandor will use the opportunity to have meetings with captains of big industries, especially those that are investing in the South African economy.

– Source:
Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu and the Zimbabwean Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Dr Anxious Jongwe Masuka, have signed an agreement for the transfer of treated water from Beitbridge Water Treatment Works to Musina.
The agreement is the product of the bilateral agreement of cooperation on water resources management, and the establishment and functioning of the Joint Water Commission established by the two countries in 2015.

The transfer of treated water from Beitbridge Water Treatment Works in Zimbabwe to Musina, Limpopo, is a medium-term solution to address water supply challenges in the area.
The capacity of the Beitbridge Water Treatment Plant is 35 million cubic metres/annum (96 Ml/day) and is currently not fully utilised in Zimbabwe, with only 10% of the capacity used for Beitbridge.

Minister Mchunu has welcomed the signing of the agreement and assured the community of Musina that the transfer of water from Beitbridge will alleviate water supply challenges in the area, as the quantities to be supplied are more than the current demand.

According to the agreement, the two countries will kick-start an implementation plan and oversee the construction of a pipeline and of pump stations to transfer 15 million cubic metres (41 ML/day) of treated water from Zimbabwe to Musina.

The two implementing agents to oversee the construction projects include the South African Development Bank and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority. The project is expected to be completed in 2026.

The treated water to be transferred is expected to comply with South Africa’s water quality standards (SANS 241), set by the South African National Bureau of Standards, which is informed by World Health Organisation guidelines.

Minister Mchunu said in the interim, the Department of Water and Sanitation is working with the Vhembe District Municipality, which is the water services authority for Musina Local Municipality, in addressing challenges with the existing water infrastructure, including rehabilitating the existing but non-functional boreholes, while the project is being implemented.

“We are looking at operationalising the non-functioning boreholes in Musina and we believe that with the transfer of water from Beitbridge Water Treatment Works, the challenges of water supply in Musina will be a thing of the past.

“...We are thankful to the government of Zimbabwe to be able to expedite this water sharing deal, which will change the lives of the people of Musina,” Minister Mchunu said.

Minister Masuka also welcomed the contribution of the government of Zimbabwe to ensure that economic development is sustainable in Musina.

“I am very pleased that this day has come to fruition. It has taken years of negotiation and I thank the technical team for having put their very best for their countries to ensure that we come to this level today,” Minister Masuka said.

The Minister reiterated that Zimbabwe is committed to supplying the maximum 15 million cubic metres of treated water per year to Musina for the duration of the agreement. He is hopeful that the contribution will alleviate the water challenges in Musina and also contribute to the economic development of the region.

As part of the two-day programme, Minister Mchunu, accompanied by Deputy Minister Judith Tshabalala, held a meeting with Vhembe District and Musina Local Municipality leadership on Friday, 15 March 2024 to discuss immediate, medium- and long-term solutions to water and sanitation challenges affecting the region.

The leaders later held an imbizo, where they gave an update to the community of Musina on the plans underway to provide them with water, as well as interim measures to alleviate intermittent water provision.

– Source:
Minister of Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and the Minister of Knowledge Economy, Start-ups and Micro-Enterprises of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, M. Yacine El Mahdi Oualid, on Thursday, 14 March 2024, signed a Declaration of Intent on co-operation in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Within the framework of this declaration, the two countries will establish formal institutional arrangements to promote cooperation in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation.

The declaration will promote collaboration and partnership in the areas of policy, institutional, regulatory and operational levels with the aim of developing the start-up ecosystem in both countries. It also seeks to foster partnerships among relevant government agencies, regulatory bodies, industrial or business organisations, as well as academic and professional spheres, as part of promoting and strengthening the level of knowledge in start-ups.

The two parties will jointly facilitate knowledge-sharing and capacity-building programmes in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation. The two countries will create platforms that will bring together innovators, entrepreneurs and stakeholders from both countries. Both will contribute to international events held in either country in the field of entrepreneurship.

A Joint Committee, comprising of representatives from both countries, will be established and charged with the responsibility to oversee the implementation of this Declaration of Intent. Joint Committee meetings will be held alternately in the Republic of Algeria and Republic of South Africa.

This cooperation between the two ministries will further strengthen the strong bilateral relations between the two countries.

The signing ceremony took place on the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress that took place from 13 to 14 March 2024 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

– Source:
Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr David Masondo and the United States (US) Deputy Secretary of Treasury, Mr Wally Adeyemo, held a bilateral meeting as part of measures to strengthen cooperation between the two treasuries and associated entities. The meeting was preceded by a meeting between Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana and Mr Adeyemo last week.
Various areas of cooperation were discussed, chief among them were the growth challenges in South Africa; increasing investments between the two countries; tracking and combating money laundering; terror financing; and wildlife trafficking.

“Investment is critical for economic growth, which is a necessary condition for addressing unemployment and poverty in our country,” Deputy Minister Masondo said. “But if our country is infested with corruption, illicit and terror finance, we cannot attract investment. Hence, we are working hard to get out of the greylist; and are working together with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the US as our important partner to combat illicit and terror finance, manage risks associated with that, and generate the necessary investor confidence in our country.”

Deputy Secretary Adeyemo said the US shared a “deep and broad” relationship with South Africa and that South Africa can continue to take steps that will ensure that it attracts more capital from the US and other parts of the world.

The capacity of agencies such as the South African Revenue Service and the National Prosecuting Authority had been improved in order for them to combat issues such as money laundering, the Deputy Minister said. The US authorities also offered further technical assistance to South Africa to exit greylisting and rebuild the capability of institutions combatting money laundering, terror financing and wildlife trafficking.

South Africa was greylisted by the FATF in February 2023 for not complying with international standards that relate to money laundering and addressing illicit financial flows.

South Africa has made significant progress since being greylisted, including passing two Acts in Parliament aimed at addressing money laundering and terror financing, Deputy Minister Masondo said. The country has also addressed 15 of the 20 legislative deficiencies identified by the FATF.

– Source:
Following the successful 2023 Irish Tech Challenge programme, which saw a group of young South African entrepreneurs display their tech start-ups in Ireland, the 2024 instalment of the challenge was launched on Friday, 15 March 2024.
Ireland’s Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, officially launched the 2024 Irish Tech Challenge at the Tshimologong Digital Precinct in Johannesburg.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, Professor Zeblon Vilakazi; Ireland’s Ambassador to South Africa, Austin Gormley; and the Overseas Bilateral Cooperation Chief Director, Anneline Morgan, joined Minister O’Brien.

The team was joined by officials from the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI).

The Irish Tech Challenge is a partnership between the Embassy of Ireland in South Africa, the DSI, the Technology Innovation Agency, Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Precinct and Dogpatch Labs, a start-up incubator in Ireland.

“The initiative aims to help high-potential tech entrepreneurs in South Africa who are ready to scale globally and enhance their impact to overcome challenges such as limited resources, high tech costs, and network and infrastructure access,” the statement read.

Winning start-ups will receive up to €10 000 (R204 330) in funding.

The winners will also be treated to a 10-day trip to Ireland, where they will be part of a curated networking programme with access to the country’s top business leaders and receive acceleration support to position their global scaling strategy, in collaboration with Dogpatch Labs in Ireland.

They will also have access to the Irish tech ecosystem with potential opportunities for further funding, and increased exposure leveraged by both the Irish and South African governments.

The DSI said it values the positive socio-economic impact of the Irish Tech Challenge, which assists South African tech entrepreneurs to contribute to driving innovation, job creation and inclusive economic growth in the country.

– Source:
National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Deputy Chairperson Sylvia Lucas has told delegates at the 68th annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) that advancing gender transformation necessitates parliaments to regularly assess prevailing gender norms in communities.

This, she stated, will ensure that policy interventions are targeted for each community to improve the efficiency of policies.

The Deputy Chairperson addressed the second session of the gathering on the theme, Gender-sensitive Institutions to Break the Poverty Cycle.

In her address, she said parliaments’ capacity to craft gender responsive law-making and policy interventions is a critical area that needs attention.

Parliaments should also continue to build women’s capacity to advocate for gender-responsive oversight and law-making processes across important sectors like development and transformation.

The Deputy Chairperson is accompanying National Assembly Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to the CSW68, which is organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and United Nations (UN) Women. It is taking place in New York until 22 March 2024.

Deputy Chairperson Lucas said parliaments have a critical role to play in reducing poverty through gender transformation by enacting laws that are gender-responsive and which are framed with dexterity to disrupt gender-regressive norms and behaviours across society at large.

“In working towards achieving gender transformation, we must continue to be guided by existing international and national protocols and legal frameworks, including prescribed norms of gender transformation, which can be used to strategically shape policy-making and promote gender equality,” she said.

The Deputy Chairperson told the session that South Africa has recently adopted the 2021 Women’s Charter for Accelerated Development. This charter is based on international best practice and mandated by South African women. It outlines critical areas for parliamentary intervention in policy, legislation and programming. The charter’s goal is to meaningfully advance gender transformation and reduce poverty.

“To this end, critical policy areas highlighted through our Women’s Charter Review process include the recommendation for the amendment of budget policies, money bills, fiscal policies and tax laws, including macroeconomic policies, which we view as critical areas for sustained and high-level analysis and amendment.

“If amended to make them more gender-responsive in their shape, form and content, these policies and legislative instruments will serve as enabling instruments to achieve poverty reduction and gender transformation objectives,” she said.

The Deputy Chairperson said some of the capacities and resources parliaments should continue to invest in include gender-responsive budget analysis capabilities and law-making, gender-responsive oversight and oversight agenda-setting, and increasing capacity to use gender-disaggregated data to shape budget decisions and commitments.

– Source:

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has announced that it will confer an Honorary Doctoral degree to branding and marketing icon, Thebe Ikalafeng.
With a career spanning over 30 years, Ikalafeng's leadership in brand and marketing communications has garnered numerous accolades and awards, including being named one of the “100 Most Influential Africans” by New African Magazine, and receiving the Financial Mail AdFocus Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ikalafeng holds a BSc (Marketing) cum laude and a Master of Business Administration (Strategy and Marketing) degree from Marquette University in the United States. Additionally, he holds an LLM (Intellectual Property Law) degree from the University of Turin, Italy, in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation in Switzerland.

His commitment to nurturing talent, promoting African brands and championing sustainable development underscores his role as a thought leader and mentor.

The UJ’s Honorary Doctoral degree is reserved for individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and contributions in their respective fields, showcasing contributions that extend beyond conventional norms.
During this graduation season, the university will bestow honorary doctoral degrees upon exceptional individuals who represent diverse realms of expertise and embody UJ's commitment to excellence, innovation and societal impact.

– Source:
A landmark international educational research project was recently launched in Ireland that will see all primary schools in the Republic of Ireland receive a free offline digital technology kit.
The kit will consist of the South Africa-developed offline coding game, Rangers and a BBC micro:bit, the pocket-size computer that allows students to get hands-on with coding.

Enabling Digital Technology in Primary School (EDTips) will provide thousands of Irish primary schools with these free digital technology teaching resources and equipment to prepare for the introduction of the Digital Technology Irish Primary Curriculum Framework during the 2025/2026 academic year.

Rangers is a tangible, offline coding game, which was developed in 2018 in South Africa. The game, which introduces learners to intermediate computational thinking skills without the use of computers, is distributed worldwide through the non-profit educational training awareness project Tangible Africa.

Tangible Africa is an engagement project of the Nelson Mandela University Computing Sciences Department and its implementation partner, the Leva Foundation, head-officed in Gqeberha, in the Eastern Cape.

Tangible Africa Founder and Head of the Department and Associate Professor at the Nelson Mandela University Computing Sciences Department, Prof Jean Greyling, is excited by the value the Irish educationists have seen in the South-African developed unplugged coding tool:

“Our unplugged coding games are mentioned in the same breath as micro:bit, and seen as making a difference in a country such as Ireland. That confirms our philosophy that coding without computers has a pivotal role to play – not only in introducing coding in South African and African schools, but schools across the world.”

Leva Foundation CEO, Ryan le Roux, said the Tangible Africa story has become an amazing journey of a “South African innovation developed to close the digital divide in Africa, now being used in first-world education systems.”

The Irish Minister for Education, Norma Foley, commented that “EDTips will not only equip primary school teachers to deliver digital technology education, but also has the transformative ability to spark the imaginations of young minds”.

EDTips Principal Investigator Dr Keith Nolan said: “If I had access to this, even in second level [high school] at the time, my skill set would have been a lot greater going into university. Having this in primary school now, it’s kind of changed the face of Computer Science in Ireland.”

Dr Nolan also highlights the expected impact these tools would have on teacher confidence as Ireland moves towards the new Digital Technology curriculum framework.

Tangible Africa Engagement Manager, Jackson Tshabalala, confirms that the training of over 30 000 teachers in South Africa, has shown consistently that teachers leave the training empowered and confident to start coding at their schools: “Many teachers continue to roll out coding at their schools, years after receiving the unplugged training”.

The project, led by Computer Science Inclusive at Technological University Dublin is funded by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme and is supported by the university’s industry partners, AWS In Communities and Workday

AWS Country Lead for Ireland, Neil Morris, said: “At AWS Ireland, we are determined to play our part in fostering the next generation of Irish technology leaders.”

– Source:

December 2023 and January 2024 saw over 1.7 million people visiting the Table Mountain National Park according to SANParks.
More than 1 702 995 tourists visited the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) in December 2023 and January 2024. The sites included within the city’s portfolio were namely, Cape Point, Boulders, and Table Mountain Aerial Cableway.

Ahead of the festive season, the park was faced with numerous safety and security concerns and through collaboration with key stakeholders and the re-establishment of the Table Mountain Safety Forum, the crime-related incidents affecting visitors dropped significantly from 33 in November to six, and one in December and January respectively.
The Western Cape Government’s Department of Police Oversight and Community Safety also recently handed over a drone donation to the park to assist with aerial surveillance and help SANParks rangers during search and rescue operations.

One of the major elements being managed by the park as well as external teams is the wildfires that often break out.

During the 2023/2024 fire season, more than 100 fires were reported to TMNP. Through the dedication of the firefighters in partnerships with key stakeholders, there were no recorded losses of houses, life, or critical infrastructure in or adjacent to the park. Our teams, including aerial resources, are deployed immediately to fires to put them out before 90 minutes.

“In our effort to ensure visitor safety in the park, TMNP is strengthening its plan ahead of the Easter weekend to educate visitors on the importance of safety precautions and what to do in the event of an incident.”

– Source:
As the world gears up to celebrate World Water Day on 22 March 2024, Cape Town is set to host a remarkable advocate for water conservation and sustainability, Mina Guli.
The renowned international water activist and marathon maverick who completed 200 marathons in a single year for water advocacy is a certified water warrior.

Guli’s visit to Cape Town marks a splash of a moment in the ongoing battle against water scarcity. Amid the backdrop of a city that faced its own water crisis not too long ago, and a country that is currently experiencing water shortages in many provinces, her presence serves as an important reminder of the urgent need for collective action.

On 22 March 2024, Guli will lace up her running shoes to participate in a fun run/walk in Sea Point, Cape Town, as part of the World Water Run, which will see thousands of people running and walking for water across the world as part of her Run Blue Campaign. This initiative, which extends its reach virtually worldwide, aims to inspire individuals to step out and contribute to the cause of water conservation.

Over the past few years, Guli has been at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness about the global water shortage through various impactful initiatives, which have built the biggest global grassroots movement in history on water.

The most recent being her Run Blue campaign where she completed 200 marathons in 32 countries in one year around the world, including one in Cape Town. She finished her 200th on the steps of the United Nations (UN) to kickstart the UN Water Conference and drive home the urgency of the water crisis and how everyone has a real part to play in securing our future.

In a statement reflecting on her mission, she says: “Water scarcity is one of the most pressing challenges of our time, affecting billions of people worldwide. Through the Run Blue Campaign, my goal is to ignite a sense of urgency and empower individuals, businesses and governments to take meaningful action to conserve water resources.”

Guli’s efforts extend beyond mere advocacy. Through partnerships with governments, NGOs and grassroots organisations, she strives to implement sustainable water management practices and promote water resilience on a global scale.

As Cape Town prepares to welcome her for World Water Day, the call to action reverberates louder than ever.

It’s a call to mobilise communities, to raise awareness and to champion the cause of water conservation. By participating in the World Water Run and even joining the Run Blue Campaign, individuals can contribute to a shared vision of a water-secure future for all.

In the words of Mina Guli, “Together, we have the power to make a difference. Let’s lace up, step out, and run for water, for our planet and for our future.”

– Source:

Marking a temporary departure from its traditional March slot, this year’s festival re-emerges on 3 and 4 May 2024 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) to deliver a musical experience that has been sorely missed.
Four reimagined stages will welcome artists and festivalgoers (Festinos) for Africa’s premier jazz celebration.

Formerly known as “Kippies”, “Moses Molelekwa” and “Rosies”, these stages now bear the illustrious names of “Sapphire”, “Ruby” and “Emerald” respectively. Add a new outside stage called “Topaz”, and the scene is set for a sparkling showcase of both seasoned maestros and rising stars from across the globe.

As anticipation mounts, Lindsay Rhoda, Head of Talent at CTIJF, hints at an electrifying fusion of heritage and innovation that is sure to appeal to local and international audiences.
She says: “We have worked hard over the past few months to compile a programme that pays homage to the heritage of our jazz roots, but also speaks to the exciting future of music that is embracing all jazz-related genres as anthems for a new tomorrow.”

Helping to get the long-awaited party started are the following artists who are just some of the stars on the 2024 “reset-connect” line-up who will appear on some of the stages:
  • Matt Bianco (United Kingdom)
  • Kokoroko (United Kingdom)
  • The Yussef Dayes Experience (United Kingdom)
  • Nduduzo Makhathini Trio featuring Omagugu (South Africa)
  • Mandisi Dyantyis (South Africa)
  • Radio Sechaba (South Africa)
  • Billy Monama (South Africa)
  • Zoë Modiga (South Africa)
  • Carlo Mombelli and The Prisoners of Strange (South Africa)
  • Benjamin Jephta presents Born coloured, not born-free (South Africa)
  • Kujenga (South Africa).
There is something else on offer at this year’s CTIJF, injecting fresh energy into the festival’s atmosphere, which is the new Flavour Junction, located on the ground floor, outside, next to the Topaz stage.

Here, there will be food trucks, a selection of bars and tantalizing treats ensuring that Festinos stay fuelled all night long. For those seeking a more refined dining experience, a selection of upscale options awaits just beyond the main stage.

This year too, there will be the Howler cashless system.

Festival organisers, espAfrika, has also unveiled a revamped VIP hospitality that epitomises the spirit of camaraderie. Introducing Jazz Ensemble, a luxurious lounge boasting a sumptuous buffet and complimentary beverages, serving as the ideal gathering point for socialising and networking.

Back by popular demand are the enlightening artist masterclasses which will also be held at the CTICC on 3 and 4 May 2024, offering enthusiasts a rare opportunity to glean insights from some of the industry’s finest music minds

– Source:
The annual Cape Town Carnival kicked off in the legislative capital of South Africa on Saturday evening, 16 March 2024, with Chinese elements featured at the event.
Under the theme of Lekker, which is an Afrikaans word that means nice, pleasant or enjoyable, this year's carnival saw over 1 000 performers from various communities across the city taking part in a parade to celebrate diversity, creativity and cultural understanding.

The event featured massive floats, colourful costumes, and vibrant choreographed dance routines, attracting tens of thousands of locals and visitors.

The Chinese performing group was the star of the evening. The dancing dragons, lions and pandas attracted strong applause and cheers from the audience wherever they went.

"China's performance was amazing!" said Nicolas Johnson and Val Andries, a local couple who had come to watch the parade.

"Yeah, the lights and the colours, and the dragon ... all those are amazing. Very good," said Johnson.

"I especially enjoyed all the lights. The costumes are amazing, the performers are doing a great job, and it was so awesome," Andries added.

Prof Rachel Jafta, Chairperson of the Cape Town Carnival, also expressed enthusiasm.

"The Chinese contribution to the Cape Town Carnival has been really central from the beginning. It brings an incredible skill and flaring beauty to the carnival," Prof Jafta told Xinhua.

"The Chinese groups dance with the dragon and the fire ...  it is always very popular. You just see the spectators' faces light up and the little kids get very excited when the dragon comes," she said. "So we're very proud to have the Chinese community as part of the Cape Town Carnival."

The Chinese community was instrumental in helping other groups in the city during the pandemic, she said, adding that "we are very grateful for that."

Dong Gang, the head of the Chinese performing group, told Xinhua at the scene that this was the sixth time the Chinese community had taken part in the carnival.

"As a major festival in the local cultural life of South Africa, the Cape Town Carnival provides us with a large platform to showcase our excellent traditional Chinese culture," said Dong.

"Especially since this year is the Year of the Dragon, we brought our 50-meter-long dragon to celebrate our culture with a confident feeling," he said. "At the same time, we can also feel that we have added our own colours to the local multiculturalism."

As noted by Jafta, the idea of the Cape Town Carnival was to create a platform for people from different backgrounds to come together, have fun and get to know each other better, so that the city can not only build more social cohesion but also create jobs and stimulate the economy.

– Source: (First published: Xinhua 2024-03-18)
Adriaan Wildschutt is heading to the 2024 Paris Olympics in two events after he shattered the South African 10 000m record.
Adriaan Wildschutt shattered the South African 10 000m record at the annual Ten contest in California on Saturday, 16 March 2024.

Wildschutt finished sixth in the race, stopping the clock in a time of 26:55.54.

In doing so, Wildschutt became the first South African to break the magical 27-minute barrier.

He took a staggering 27.56 seconds off his own national mark of 27:23.10 which he set in California in May last year.

For the record, the world 10 000m record stands at 26:11.00 and is held by Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, who also owns the world 5 000m record of 12:35.36.

Post-race, Wildschutt called the race “surreal”.

In setting his new South African mark, Wildschutt secured automatic qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics by achieving the required standard of 27:00.00.

Having set a national 5 000m record of 12:56.76 in Boston in January, Wildschutt has now booked his place in both the 5 000m and 10 000m events in Paris in August.

In Paris, there will be no heats for the men’s 10 000m. The final-only event will be held on 2 August 2024. Meanwhile, the men’s heats for the 5 000m are scheduled for 7 August 2024 with the final on 10 August 2024.

“He keeps going and his hunger seems to have no end. His drive we hope rub off other athletes seeking inspiration as they seek World placings.

“Congratulations to Adriaan, his coach and all support stuff for a job well done,” said James Moloi, the President of Athletics South Africa.

Adriaan Wildschutt, who was born in Ceres in the Western Cape, runs for the Hoka NAZ Elite team in the United States.

– Source:
Two weeks after the official appointment of Precious Mthembu as the Baby Spar Proteas Head Coach together with Phumza Maweni, the duo's first assignment was the Netball World Youth Cup 2025 Regional Qualifiers in Pretoria.
South Africa last played at the Netball World Youth Cup some eight years ago and this was an opportunity for them to make a return there come September next year in Gibraltar. The Baby Spar Proteas opened the first match day on Sunday, 17 March 2024, with an encounter against Tanzania

The team was playing together for the first time since they were assembled and it was the hosts who were very quick to send a clear message to their opponents as soon as the whistle went off. The Baby Spar Proteas restricted Tanzania to only scoring seven goals over an entire match while they put 75 past them.
The win for South Africa was a great confidence booster ahead of their second match of the day against Zambia to close off the first day of play. It was difficult to choose who would be the player of the match from the South African side as all the players that took to the court were outstanding. In the end, it was Sanmarie Visser who was voted Player of the Match.

The Games took a break to make for the official opening ceremony of the tournament. The event was attended by a few government dignitaries from both the municipality and provincial levels.

The last match of the day saw hosts South Africa take on Zambia.

Coach Mthembu made a few changes to her starting seven and gave some of the players who didn’t play a chance to shine in the second encounter.

The Baby Spar Proteas got off the starting blocks very quickly and converted their chances as early as possible in the match. Zambia only drew blood after four minutes, with the Baby Spar Proteas' defence and discipline keeping Zambia at bay.

At the end of the first quarter, South Africa had a lead of 23-4, and in the second quarter, they had extended their lead to 35-7. At the end of the match, it was the Baby Spar Proteas that emerged as the victors, winning the match 72-9.

– Source:
Captain George van Heerden struck his maiden T20 century as Team South Africa got their African Games campaign off to a winning start with a 134-run win over hosts Ghana at the Achimota Cricket Oval on Sunday, 17 March 2024.
The 20-year-old plundered eight fours and seven sixes as he reached an unbeaten 107 off 57 balls to help Team South Africa amass 237 for two after winning the toss and opting to bat first.

Despite the early loss of opening batter Maahir Joseph (8), van Heerden was aided superbly by Heinrigh Pieterse, who struck a blistering 62 off 34 balls (4 fours and 3 sixes), and Lehan Botha, with a pulsating 46 off 25 balls (5 fours, 3 sixes).

Jesse Prodehl (2-10) and Jason Raubenheimer (2-23) picked up two wickets apiece to restrict the hosts to 103 for seven in the chase.

Allrounder Botha (1-19) got the first breakthrough when he had Richmond Baaleri (9) caught behind in the fifth over. James Vifah top-scored with a quickfire 25-ball 41 (6 fours, 1 six) before he was bowled by Raubenheimer. A runout accounted for Rexford Bakum (1) to leave the hosts on 68-3 at the halfway stage.

Prodehl then bagged two wickets in as many overs - first he trapped opposing skipper Obed Harvey leg before for eight, before he held on to one off his bowling to remove Devender Singh (9) and leave Ghana reeling on 74 for five within 13 overs.

Pieterse (1-11) then got in on the act with the wicket of Micheal Aboagye (5), while Raubenheimer claimed his second of the innings after he had Joseph Theodore caught for one.

Kelvin Awala (13*) and Godfred Bakiweyem (9*) remained unbeaten as the hosts fell well short of the 238-run target.

“I’m ecstatic about the result,” commented van Heerden. “Yes, I am happy about scoring a century but I was well supported throughout my knock by the other batsmen and to only lose two wickets was absolutely brilliant.

“The bowlers backed it up nicely. During the innings break, we spoke about not resting on our laurels and to make sure that we set our own standards and show some fight.

“We always knew it was going to be tough coming up against the hosts in our opening match. It is extremely hot here - they say it’s 33 degrees but it feels like 50. We had a good training week but batting for long periods was tough today and we felt it in the field, but the boys are getting used to the conditions.”

– Source:
With the swimming events at the African Games complete, South Africa has emerged from the pool at the top of the medal tally with 46 medals.
South Africa has blown the competition out of the water at the African Games in Accra, Ghana thanks to our swimming squad who dived into victory and took first place on the medal tally.

In a massive display of talent, South African swimmers have collected 46 medals, with the majority of them being gold. In total, the swimmers earned 17 gold medals, 16 silver and 14 bronze.

Egypt took second place with 35 medals, while Algeria scooped third with 23. A big shoutout goes to Catherine van Rensburg who Team SA announced as “the most successful Team SA swimmer at these Games” after she earned South Africa four gold and a bronze, on top of relay medals.
Despite the swimming stints concluding for the African Games, the heat is still on for other athletes.

The African Games began with a golden start for South Africa, with athletes across the board of sporting codes fighting hard to earn a whopping 29 medals from cycling to badminton and that was just over the first weekend of the Games.

Adding the swimmers’ bounty into the mix as well as other podium moments (like the bittersweet silver for our women’s cricket team) South Africa is sitting at a tally of 77 medals.

The African Games is a huge opportunity for the world to witness the next generation of iconic African athletes. If this year’s displays are anything to go by, we have a lot to be excited about for our nation’s future in sport. And with many more codes yet to compete, this is likely not the end of good news from Accra.

– Source:
South Africa’s Kent Main and Tiffany Keep were the big winners of the 46th edition of the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
Main pulled away in the final five kilometres of the annual 109km Cycle Tour and finished in a time of 2:31:21 in Green Point, 14 seconds faster than second-placed Charlie Aldridge (United Kingdom) in the men’s race.

“Kent [Main] got a bit of a gap and I was expecting Charlie [Aldridge] to chase him down for Alan [Hatherly],” Namibian Road Race Champion Alex Miller, who was part of the leading pack, explained.

“I’ve got goosebumps,” Main said after he finished. “It’s amazing. It was an amazing race. It was super hard right from the beginning, but I think how tough it was actually worked in our favour. It’s amazing to have won it!”

Meanwhile, in a dash for the finish line in the women’s race, it was a two-horse race between Keep and S’annara Grove with Keep winning the sprint finish by a tyre’s width in a time of 2:12:01 for the 78km ride.

“We didn’t know who got it,” Keep confessed after the race.

“It was super, super close. S’annara [Grove] jumped me with about 100 metres to go and I had to work quite hard to get back to her wheel. So, ja, I’m really, very, happy with that.”

Namibia’s Vera Looser placed third.

Perfect conditions

Close to 30 000 cyclists took to the roads, avenues and streets of Cape Town for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the first time since 2020 that the tour had so many participants.

Throughout the last three years, the event has remained the world’s largest festival on two wheels, but in 2024 it reasserted its dominance in style. Not without the mother city playing its part to perfection, it must be added.

“It’s been a successful day from a Cape Town Cycle Tour perspective,” Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust Director, David Bellairs said.

“It started in fantastic weather in the CBD and while the stiff South Easterly in the Southern Peninsula made the riding tough through Simons Town and up Smitswinkel, once the riders turned for home the wind was largely behind them. The weather at the finish was sublime.

“It was terrific to be able to host so many fans on the finish line too, as they soaked up the sunshine and cheered on the riders as they finished their 109-kilometre circumnavigation of the peninsula,” Bellairs said.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour confirmed that there were no records of fatalities on the route.

“We’d like to praise every finisher,” Bellairs said.

“From those of you who knock off a 100-kilometre ride without any stress, to the riders who experience the Cycle Tour as a significant personal challenge.

“This race wouldn’t be possible without you and the gracious people of Cape Town who open the streets to us. It’s wonderful to see so many people on bikes, because the event started in 1978 to raise awareness of the need for safe cycling routes.

“Cape Town has in recent years become a very cycling-friendly city and it’s very rewarding to see.”

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