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President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on citizens, political parties and civil society to work together to ensure that this year’s election is a “success in our ongoing journey of democratic consolidation”.
The President was addressing the nation through his weekly newsletter.

The 2024 National and Provincial Elections are expected to be held on 29 May this year.

“It is up to us all, whether as government, political parties, candidates, voters, the media or civil society organisations, to play our part by ensuring that our actions and words inspire faith in our democracy. We must continue to work together to ensure that nothing undermines the integrity of our elections.

“Above all, it is up to us all to ensure that this hard-won right to vote, for which so many sacrificed so much, is exercised by every eligible citizen in a climate free of intimidation and all forms of violence,” President Ramaphosa said.

This year’s elections will be the seventh held since the dawn of democracy 30 years ago.

As highlighted by the President, the country’s electoral processes, together with the rights enjoyed by citizens and political parties to organise, campaign and contest, “are among the greatest strengths of our constitutional order”.

Valuable rights

President Ramaphosa reminded South Africans that in this country, politicians are free to contest and media freedom to report is guaranteed with the courts administering justice “without fear or favour, including an Electoral Court that oversees the work of the Independent Electoral Commission [IEC] and the conduct of elections”.

“As the country counts down to the election, the vibrant and robust campaigning that is taking place reflects how South Africa’s politics continues to evolve and mature. It is also a reflection of the many different views in our society and the variety of choices that voters have.

“In a democracy such as ours, we should not be worried about differences, even when sharply expressed. That is because the vast majority of South Africans value and respect the democratic process. They have faith in the rule of law and know that any disputes can be resolved through the courts and other legal avenues.

“Over the past 30 years we have held elections that are not only free and fair, but also peaceful and free of intimidation. Dire predictions of South Africa ‘regressing into violence’ or ‘democratic backsliding’ that regrettably remain a common feature of some reportage and analysis have been proven wrong time and again,” he said.

The South African voter

President Ramaphosa said that according to research, most South Africans “recognise the importance of their vote and believe they have a duty to vote” with the IEC commissioned research finding that some 57% of South Africans having expressed belief that voting is their duty.

“While youth apathy is often cited as a problem in our country, some 55% of 18-24 year olds saw it as their duty to vote. It is significant that young people accounted for over 78% of new voter registrations last year. The IEC-research also found that the majority of respondents agreed that democracy is preferable to other kinds of government.

“Despite its many challenges, our democracy is in good health. Even as political and other forms of contestation continue in the run-up to this year’s polls, they are taking place under the broad umbrella of a constitutional order characterised by fundamental freedoms and human rights,” President Ramaphosa said.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa undertook a Working Visit to the Republic of Uganda to meet with President Yoweri Museveni from 15 to 16 April 2024.
In a statement, The Presidency said the two leaders discussed security in that region of Africa, “including the situation in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo”.

Following this visit, President Ramaphosa is expected to visit the Republic of South Sudan in order to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.

“The President will also use the visit to receive a detailed briefing from President Salva Kiir Mayardit, and all other stakeholders, on the status of implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan [R-ARCSS] which was signed on 12 September 2018,” the statement read.

The agreement comes to an end in February next year and elections must be held in December this year.
“It is in this context that President Ramaphosa has designated Deputy President Paul Mashatile, as his Special Envoy, to provide practical and political support to the parties to the R-ARCSS and the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity [R-TGoNU], towards achieving the measures set to achieve a democratic and peaceful end to the transitional period.

“To this end, Deputy President Mashatile has visited South Sudan and based on his engagements with stakeholders, recommended a follow-up visit by President Ramaphosa. South Africa has always been walking with South Sudan on its path to reconstruction and development since the dawn of independence in 2011.

“South Africa has participated in various conflict resolution and mediation mechanisms, State building, capacity building of state institutions and programmes for post-conflict reconstruction and development,” The Presidency statement said.

Official bilateral relations between South Sudan and South Africa were signed into establishment in September 2012 and are conducted through the General Cooperation Agreement.

“South Africa is also the Chair of the African Union High-Level Ad-hoc Committee for South Sudan (also known as C5), which has been mandated by the African Union to support South Sudan in its transitional process.

“South Africa enjoys cordial bilateral relations with South Sudan and the two countries have a long-standing historical relationship that predates South Sudan’s independence on 9 July 2011,” the statement read.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa received His Majesty the King at Mahlamba Ndlopfu, the President’s Official Residence in Pretoria, on Monday, 15 April 2024.
The visit followed a courtesy visit by President Ramaphosa to His Majesty King Mswati III in Lozitha, Eswatini, on Wednesday, 3 April 2024.

“South Africa and Eswatini share strong historical bonds as well as mutually beneficial political and trade ties,” said The Presidency.

During his visit to Eswatini earlier this month, President Ramaphosa paid a brief visit to the Queen Mother, Her Majesty iNdlovukazi, before proceeding to meet with His Majesty the King.
According to The Presidency statement, the two discussed the “historical bonds” of the two Southern African nations while also affirming their commitment to strong historical bonds between their two countries, including growing political and trade ties.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa says the quick and compassionate local response to the bus crash which claimed the lives of 45 Botswana nationals is a testament of the warm and compassionate relations between the two countries.
The only survivor of the crash was an eight-year-old child.

The President was speaking at the site of the tragic accident at the Mmamatlakala Bridge along the R518 in Limpopo where he was joined by his Botswana counterpart, President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

A bus travelling from Molepolole in Botswana to Moria in Limpopo to celebrate Easter, plunged off the bridge along the Mmamatlakala Pass on 28 March 2024.

“We have a horrible accident that has occurred involving Botswana. But no sooner than it occurred, I called President Masisi to inform him that our team consisting of our provincial officials from government from the Premier down to the police and the immediate responders were immediately on the scene, and we were able to beam information not only to the world but also to the Government of Botswana to inform them what was happening.

“That speaks volumes about the relationship between the two countries which is underpinned by compassion, humanness, cooperation and transparency,” he said.

At the scene, President Masisi said he was “well received” by South Africa upon his arrival.

“I was thoroughly briefed and impressed by the immaculateness of competence, thoroughness of detail and I visited the site. I go back home completely gratified that the very best was done and I give thanks to South Africa,” said President Masisi.

– Source:

The Government of South Africa has expressed its serious concern regarding the ongoing events in the Middle East, particularly in light of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s retaliatory actions against Israel.
This comes after Israel launched an attack on Iran’s Embassy located in Damascus, Syria, on 1 April 2024.

As a response to the attack, Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles against Israel on Saturday night, 13 April 2024.

According to reports, Iran fired about 300 “killer drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles” in its first direct attack on Israel.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres has stated that there is a “very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation”.

“In this context, South Africa emphasises that all parties must exercise the utmost restraint and avoid any act that would escalate tensions in a particularly fragile region.

“South Africa has continuously stressed that irrespective of whether states believe that their use of force is lawful, it is never wise to resort to war as inevitably, it is ordinary people who bear the brunt of conflict,” the Department of International and Relations Cooperation (DIRCO) said on Sunday, 14 April 2024.

Meanwhile, DIRCO has called on the international community and the UN Security Council to act in pursuit of sustainable and just peace for all people.

“While we turn our attention to these developments, let us not forget that the war in Gaza continues with devastating humanitarian consequences for its people.

“An immediate ceasefire and urgent humanitarian access are required. The proliferation of global conflicts will continue if we, as the international community, do not commit ourselves to the ending of war and the establishment of conditions under which justice and respect for international law are maintained.”

However, the department said that as long as there is impunity for unlawful acts, war and injustice will continue.

– Source:
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the South African Red Cross Society (SARCS), with support from the British Red Cross Society and the Commonwealth Secretariat, co-hosted the Sixth Commonwealth Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference on International Humanitarian Law on Monday, 15 April 2024, in Pretoria.
The conference presented an opportunity to discuss the rules of war and their application. Representatives from government, Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, as well as legal experts from over 30 Commonwealth countries, took part in the conference.

The conference aimed to assess the implementation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in different countries and share strategies for compliance and enforcement of IHL.

“This gathering is of critical importance to focus on solutions and approaches to strengthen the law, and it is a strong signal to see it happening in South Africa, as the country has taken a strong stance in promoting humanity and encouraging dialogue to resolve conflicts”, said Nils Melzer, Director of International Law, Policy, and Humanitarian Diplomacy at ICRC. “Our responsibility is to remind those who are involved in hostilities of their obligations to preserve the lives of those who are not fighting.”

The conference offered a space to discuss pressing thematic issues, including protection of persons and objects, sexual violence, the missing, separated and dead persons during armed conflict and the relevance of the Geneva Conventions, among others.

– Source:
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) country office will host the visit to South Africa by the UNESCO Director-General (DG), Audrey Azoulay from 16 to 17 April 2024.
The UNESCO Director-General visited a school in Soweto and held a bilateral meeting with DBE Minister, Angie Motshekga.

Minister Motshekga extended an invitation to DG Azoulay to visit South Africa with a view to strengthen and enhance mutual cooperation between the country and UNESCO after a successful participation and meeting at the 41st UNESCO General Conference in November 2021, in Paris, France.

The visit by DG Azoulay to South Africa was an opportunity to deepen relations between South Africa and UNESCO and further provided an opportunity to showcase South Africa’s linkages with UNESCO across the five sectors within UNESCO’s mandate, in particular education, culture and sciences. The visit also provided an opportunity for the Director-General to understand South Africa’s position in relation to the organisation communicating, upholding and guarding its mandate, as is the case with other United Nations specialised agencies.

– Source:
National Treasury has welcomed South Africa’s ranking by the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Fiscal Transparency Evaluation Report of being among the top three countries worldwide for fiscal transparency.
According to the International Budget Partnership, South Africa has a strong record of fiscal transparency and consistently ranks among the top three countries worldwide for transparency.

“A predictable and transparent fiscal policy underpins macroeconomic stability. The IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Evaluation Report notes a strong performance in fiscal reporting and budget transparency,” National Treasury said on Tuesday,16 April 2024.

The report also suggested improvements in three areas, which include:
  • Fiscal reporting: Expand and align fiscal reporting to international best practice by including other spheres of the public sector, strengthening tax expenditure disclosure, and improving adherence to audit timelines for published financial statements
  • Forecasting and budgeting: Implement precise, time-bound and stable fiscal rules
  • Fiscal risk analysis: Enhance analysis of risks in the fiscal risk statement, publish public-private partnership financial data regularly, consolidate transfers to state-owned companies to show fiscal impact and set limits on government guarantees.
“Work is underway on all these areas. Government is committed to addressing these areas to enhance fiscal credibility and ensure continued transparency and accountability in the management of public finances,” National Treasury said.

The full report can be accessed from the IMF website on:

– Source:
Tiger Brands’ new R300 million state-of-the-art peanut butter manufacturing plant is a sign of confidence in the South African economy, said Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Nomalungelo Gina.
The Deputy Minister was speaking during the official launch of the company’s facility in Chamdor, Krugersdorp in Gauteng.

In a statement on Friday, 12 April 2024, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) said the plant is located on more than 8000 square metres of land within Mogale City, with 62 full time employees.
“The company says up to 70% of the peanuts used in the production process are procured locally and the remaining 30% from markets outside South Africa due to local farmers not being able to meet the actual need,” said the dtic.

The Deputy Minister also commended Tiger Brands for its commitment to the economic transformation agenda and growing Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMME) through Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD).

“As government, we insist on this policy direction because we know that SMMEs contribute 34% to the national gross domestic product. As the country, we are under pressure to maximise employment in this country as we are pursuing [the] re-industrialisation of the economy. SMMEs will remain an important aspect of growing our economic base. Big corporations have an obligation to use the ESD model effectively through empowerment measures such as ESD mechanisms,” she said.

The Deputy Minister further urged Tiger Brands and South African based companies to fully utilise the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) to ensure their own advancement and those of the South African and African economies.

The AfCTA creates the world’s largest free trade area by number of countries and has the potential to bring transformative change and tremendous opportunities to African economies and businesses.

– Source:
Uber will enable youths aged 13 to 17 to hail rides, with added safety and security measures.
Uber, the American multinational transportation company that provides ride-hailing services around the world, has announced the rollout of Uber Teen accounts across South Africa.

This will enable youths aged 13 to 17 to hail rides, with added safety and security measures, writes Engineering News.

The solution is linked to parents’ and guardians’ Uber profiles so that guardians can monitor every stage of the trip.

Stringent screening and background checks

Uber sub-Saharan Africa General Manager Kagiso Khaole made the announcement on Thursday, 11 April 2024 at Uber’s head offices in Sandton.

Safety measures on this new service will include automated audio recording, trip tracking, location-based security response and AI systems that can detect route deviations and prolonged stops, he said.
Only top-rated, experienced drivers who have undergone local screening and background checks can take trip requests from teen account holders.

Guardians will also be able to contact drivers at any point during the trip, while teen riders cannot alter the destination once the trip has begun, it was announced.

“Uber Teen accounts are built with transparency in mind so that there are no surprises for parents, teens or drivers,” Khoale said.

“Parents will receive real-time notifications and can follow along with live-trip tracking every step of the way.”

Khoale said Uber’s commitment is to help keep teens safe and get families moving, thereby enhancing the safety of all users.

Uber Teen unique pin

To further bolster safety, teens must provide drivers with a unique personal identification number, or pin, before starting a trip. This will also ensure that teens get into the right car with the right driver.

In addition to live-trip tracking, the service also uses RideCheck. This feature uses sensors and GPS data to monitor rides and detect any unusual activity, such as rides going off course, stopping unexpectedly or ending early.

Encrypted audio recordings can be done through the app and will only be accessed if there is an incident.

Pricing remains consistent with adult rides, Khoale said, and spending limits can be set for Uber Teen accounts.

Uber has also been piloting enhanced rider verification to improve safety for both drivers and riders, without affecting earnings.

“Safety is a big pain point for drivers and one of the things that is top of mind for them,” Khoale added.

While the solution is bespoken to South Africa, Uber says that local innovations are exported to the rest of the world and that there is already interest from Latin America.

– Source:
Three South African cities are vying for the prestigious title of World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) national winner, showcasing the strong leadership being portrayed by South African cities in the fight against climate change.
Since its inception in 2011, the OPCC initiative has encouraged cities worldwide to set ambitious climate targets aligned with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

The City of Tshwane, City of Cape Town and the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality have emerged as finalists for the national title, showcasing their commitment to combating climate change and transitioning towards a low-carbon trajectory. Building on the legacy of previous winners, such as the City of Johannesburg in 2022, these cities stand at the forefront of climate action in South Africa.

Working together, WWF South Africa and Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) Africa, have garnered participation from over 30 cities in Africa, which form part of the over 700 cities across nearly 70 countries in the OPCC, making it one of the world’s largest and most enduring climate challenges for cities.

Participating cities submit their climate action plans or projects through the CDP-ICLEI Track, an accessible reporting platform for cities globally.

As finalists, Tshwane, Cape Town, and eThekwini are now in the running for the national title. The national winner will go on to compete with cities around the world. All three cities will undergo rigorous assessment by a panel of experts, evaluating criteria such as ambitious climate targets, bold leadership and comprehensive climate action plans.

Innocentia Modau, Climate Action project manager with WWF South Africa, commented:

“We are proud of our three finalist cities having put their hands up for this competition. Tshwane, Cape Town and eThekwini now have the chance to drive the climate agenda forward, both in South Africa and the world. WWF is calling on all cities to actively reduce their emissions and build more resilient communities in our efforts to address the climate emergency. As scientists keep reminding us, every effort helps but there is still so much more that needs to be done.”

Dr Meggan Spires, Director: Climate Change, Energy and Resilience at ICLEI Africa said:

“We continue to prioritise our strategic partnership with WWF to promote the One Planet City Challenge, which not only acknowledges the climate change leadership being shown by African cities but also supports these cities on their climate change journeys. Every year we are blown away by the innovation and excellence of our African cities, who are taking bold steps to address climate change on a daily basis. ICLEI is committed to supporting all cities that are committed to increasing resilience and building sustainability, and we especially want to congratulate the City of Tshwane, City of Cape Town and eThekwini Metropolitan”.

– Source:
For the first time in African maritime history, the “Queen Mary 2” and “Queen Victoria” cruise ships have docked simultaneously in Cape Town.
The iconic Queen Mary 2 cruise ship has arrived in Cape Town as the final destination port in a 30-day one-way trip from Hong Kong to Cape Town.

Meanwhile, following closely in the Queen Mary’s wake, another stunning cruise ship, Queen Victoria, arrived in Cape Town on 12 April as part of a 55-day one-way trip from Sydney, Australia to Southampton, England.

Queen Mary 2, concluding her 30-day voyage from Hong Kong, will undertake a turnaround call in Cape Town, facilitating the disembarkation and embarkation of passengers for her next voyage bound for New York, United States.

Meanwhile, Queen Victoria, on a 55-day journey from Sydney to Southampton, will also make a brief stopover in Cape Town for a turnaround call before continuing her voyage to Walvis Bay, Namibia.

“We are immensely proud to welcome both Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria to the Port of Cape Town. This historic occasion underscores Cape Town and the Western Cape’s growing stature as a premier cruise destination, reflecting the concerted efforts of all our partners in fostering the growth and sustainability of the industry,” said Wrenelle Stander, Wesgro CEO and Official Spokesperson for Cruise Cape Town.

Alderman James Vos, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, added: “The arrival of these two beloved ships in Cape Town signifies our growth in the cruise tourism market and our strength as a destination. The city is proud to stand alongside its partners in the Cruise Cape Town initiative in further bolstering our region’s profile as a destination of choice for cruise travellers from all over the world.”

Each cruise ship visit translates into tangible economic benefits, with one full-time provincial job said to be created for every 30 arriving cruise passengers.

The current cruise ship season is seeing 65 confirmed ship visits, attracting an estimated 90 000 two-way passengers and 38 000 crew members.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reports that 63% of cruise passengers are likely to revisit destinations they have encountered through cruise tourism.

Provincial Minister for Finance and Economic Development, Mireille Wenger, stated: “It is very exciting to be able to welcome both the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria at the same time for the first time to the Cape Town cruise terminal. This exciting occasion shows that tourism and cruise tourism is on the up in the Western Cape. This is great news because more tourists mean more jobs in the province. With an expected 90 000 passengers in the 2023/2024 cruise season, and based on Wesgro’s estimates, we know that roughly 3 000 new permanent jobs have been created in this season alone. As the Western Cape Government, we will continue to partner with the private sector to continue on our path to enable the kind of breakout economic growth we need to help create many more jobs across this wonderful and sought-after province we proudly call home.”

– Source:
The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and Netflix, in association with Indigenous Film Distribution, have launched six micro-budget films from their Joint Film Fund.
The R28 million Joint Film Fund was created to finance each production at 100% of its budget.

The partnership, with the global streaming service Netflix, announced in March 2021, creates new opportunities for emerging filmmakers in the local film industry after many productions locally and internationally had to be halted due to COVID-19 global lockdowns.

Both partners contributed R14 million each in support of the production of local films, which will have exclusive debuts on Netflix.

“Part of the mandate of the NFVF is to promote the South African film industry locally and internationally, so this partnership with Netflix has contributed immensely to achieve this.

"We are proud of and congratulate the cast and crews of the six films on completing their films and taking the best of who we are as South Africans to the world through their stories, flying the South African flag high on this global streaming leader, Netflix,” NFVF acting CEO, Thobela Mayinje.

The films

“These South African stories by South African filmmakers, demonstrate our commitment to growing and nurturing the next generation of talent and storytellers.

“We remain committed to investing in local storytellers to keep bringing exciting local stories from emerging and established filmmakers to our local and global audiences,” says Ben Amadasun, Vice President of Content for Middle East and Africa at Netflix.

The six local films are categorised into two streams: four feature films with a budget of R4 million each and two feature films with a budget of R6 million each.

These are the six films selected:

Runs in the Family

A film about a reformed con artist, Varun and his transmasculine son, River, who go on a road trip across South Africa to break River’s estranged mother out of rehab. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.

Key cast: Ace Bhatti, Gabe Gabriel, Diaan Lawrenson, Rob van Vuuren, Cleo Wesley

Director: Ian Gabriel


A film about a young man trapped by indecision is triggered by his abusive father’s death, shaking up the trauma of his mother’s suicide and cutting into the woman he loves, setting him up for the seduction of an ancient demon. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.

Key cast: Richard Gau, Nomsa Twala, Jasmine Hazi

Director: Thabiso Christophe

Inkabi: The Hitman

This film is about Frank, a retired hitman, who has chosen to disappear and start his life as a private taxi driver. He befriends Lucy, a young woman working at a shady downtown casino. After losing custody of her child Angela, Lucy is back on a downward spiral of drugs and high-class prostitution. One night she witnesses the murder of one of her clients, a prominent millionaire in the city. Lucy manages to escape but the killer is out for her blood. She has no one to turn to except Frank, her only friend. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.

Key cast: Tshamo Sebe, Michelle Tiren, Dumisane Dlamini, Muzi Mthabela and Kenneth Nkosi

Director: Norman Maake

Smart Casual

Two couples in Johannesburg travel equal and opposite paths in the search for love. Taki has sworn off coupledom, until he meets Tumi. Mahlatsi and Bheka have been together for years and are looking forward to their third attempt at getting married. As one couple moves towards love and a life together, the other realises that love isn’t what they imagined it to be. The film premiered on Netflix in April 2024.

Key cast: Anga Makubalo, Angela Sithole, Terrence Ngwila, and Mandisa Constable

Director: Zwo Farisani

Soweto Blaze

A hyper-stylised stoner-comedy set in Soweto, South Africa. A small-time pot dealer’s attempts at making a better life for himself are ambushed when his dim-witted friends sweep him up in a wacky kidnapping scheme involving a feisty young woman with her own plans. The film will premiere on Netflix in 2024.

Key cast: Matli Mohapelo, Dimpho More, Nhlanhla Masiya, Sydney Ndlovu, Nyeleti Khoza, Sello Sebotsane, Palesa Mosiea

Director: Brad Katzen

Real Estate Sisters

This film will take you on a wild ride as two feisty real estate agent sisters, down on their luck and high on sass, aspire to go from selling shabby apartments to high-end real estate in Pretoria. The film will premiere on Netflix in 2024.

Key cast: Gina Koffman, Leera Mthethwa, Lerato Makheta, Marcus Mabusela, Sibongile Nojila, Jerry Chirindza, Sammy Fever, Jude Ben O’Donovan, Karin van der Laag

Director: Reabetswe Moeti-Vogt

“At Indigenous Film Distribution we always strive to support new filmmakers to get their content off the ground and their films in front of audiences. Working with the NFVF and Netflix as part of this unique initiative achieved exactly that.

"We are privileged to have worked with such a fantastic ambit of new filmmakers in so many genres and salute our partners at NFVF and Netflix for creating this opportunity for filmmakers,” says Helen Kuun, Founder and Managing Director of Indigenous Film Distribution.

– Source:
The renowned Drakensberg Boys Choir School (DBCS or “Drakies”) has just unveiled plans for their thrilling England tour, set to take place from 20 to 30 September 2024.
Affectionately known as the Drakies, this world-class choir is a cherished South African gem that has captured hearts globally with their diverse musical repertoire spanning classic choral, contemporary African, and lively Afro-pop genres.

Dave Cato, Executive Head of DBCS, shares his excitement about the upcoming tour: “The United Kingdom (UK) tour in September promises to be a true highlight. UK audiences will be able to delight in the renowned vocal and rhythmic qualities of this esteemed boys’ choir and their balanced repertoire.”

From the classical compositions of Mozart and Carl Orff to the infectious rhythms of Afro-pop, the Drakies promise a musical experience reminiscent of West End hits.

The tour itinerary is nothing short of spectacular, featuring concerts at iconic venues such as St Paul’s Knightsbridge, Southwark Cathedral in London, Wells Cathedral, New College Chapel in Oxford, Clifton Cathedral, as well as performances in Barnsley. A special highlight will be the Southwark Cathedral concert, where four prestigious school choirs, including DBCS, Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, Eton College and Westminster School, will join forces to create an unforgettable musical extravaganza.

With ticket prices averaging GBP30, this promises to be an accessible treat for music lovers.

Funding support remains crucial to make this musical odyssey a reality. Brand South Africa has already pledged its partnership with Drakies for the year and support for the UK tour. Other generous supporters include MultiChoice and Stone, with opportunities for additional partners to contribute and gain brand exposure throughout this high-profile tour.

Drakies is blessed and fortunate to bring choral and music lovers across the globe the most beautiful and entertaining music,” says Cato, emphasising the choir’s commitment to spreading their message of hope and inspiration through music.

Beyond their musical prowess, the DBCS’s internationally acclaimed programme offers a holistic education that combines choral singing, academic training, sports, and outdoor activities.

As Terence Sibiya, Chairperson of the DBCS Board of Directors, explains, “The blessing of talent does not only come to boys from families who can self-fund their children’s unique schooling. The Drakies bursary fund plays a critical role in affording deserving boys the opportunity to make their mark on the world choir stage.”

England, with its rich history, culture, and charm, provides the perfect backdrop for this musical adventure. While the Drakies will have a packed concert schedule, they will also have the chance to explore iconic landmarks like Big Ben and Tower Bridge, as well as venture into the picturesque English countryside.

Annual international tours are a cherished tradition at Drakies, with past highlights including performances for Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, and even behind the Iron Curtain. This upcoming England tour promises to add another illustrious chapter to the choir’s proud 57-year history.

– Source:
Robert Irwin is bringing joy and wildlife passion to South Africa while hosting “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here”.
Somewhere, in an undisclosed location, in the middle of the wild landscapes of the South African bush and thrilling challenges of an Australian reality TV series, one familiar face has been lighting up our social media feeds – none other than Robert Irwin.

The young Australian conservationist, television personality and son of the legendary Steve Irwin, is not only continuing his father’s legacy but is also bringing joy and entertainment to fans across the globe.

Irwin, often likened to his late father, the iconic “Crocodile Hunter,” has been a source of enthusiasm and positivity since arriving in South Africa to film I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, the hit Australian reality show now in its 10th season. Despite the weight of his family’s legacy, the 20-year-old embraces his role with passion and a genuine love for wildlife conservation.

In a recent interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, Irwin opened up about why he accepted the offer to host the new season of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.

He shared, “I love that I have a real purpose and a legacy that I get to continue from my family, and my dad particularly, and I get to create my own – of wildlife conservation, of fun, of passion and positivity”.

Irwin highlighted the unique spirit of the show, saying, “No show does it better than I’m A Celebrity when it comes to just fun, family, positive, let’s give it a go. Plus, every contestant’s working for a charity.”

His commitment to using his platform for good is truly inspiring and resonates with fans around the world.

Keeping us entertained

While filming, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, Irwin has been delighting fans with his infectious energy and behind-the-scenes glimpses into the show. His social media videos, shared on platforms like TikTok, offer a fun and entertaining look at life in the South African bush.

Irwin has expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to host I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, describing it as a “privilege and a real honour” to share the duties alongside his co-host, Morris. His genuine enthusiasm for the show and dedication to his family’s legacy are evident in every episode and social media post.

So, whether you’re a fan of the show, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply looking for some good news, Irwin’s journey in South Africa is sure to bring a smile to your face.

– Source:
After she represented South Africa so well at Miss Universe, Bryoni Govender is getting ready to shine internationally once more, this time at Miss Supranational.
Miss South Africa’s first runner-up, Bryoni Govender is reading herself to shine on the global stage once more after she made South Africa so proud at the Miss Universe pageant. Now, with more experience in her arsenal and Miss Supranational in her line of sight, she is ready to rock Poland.

“I am incredibly excited and honoured to have the opportunity to participate in the upcoming Miss Supranational competition,” says a thrilled Govender.
“I have been working tirelessly to prepare myself both mentally and physically for the competition. These preparations have included intense training sessions to enhance my physical fitness, catwalk, poise and stage presence. I have also been working with top-notch trainers to improve my communication skills and develop a strong and impactful voice. I always say that the most important thing for me when preparing for any competition is to have a positive and healthy mindset and to have put in all the necessary work.”

Last year, the Gauteng-based attorney earned acclaim during the Miss Universe pageant and was part of the Voice for Change Top 10 Silver cohort. This, thanks to her “Her Way Out” advocacy campaign, inspired to empower women to access legal knowledge.

Of her Miss Universe debut, she explains that it taught her so much about confidence.

“It’s about owning your uniqueness and embracing it. I learned how to stand tall, speak my truth and carry myself with poise. The spotlight can be intimidating, but I realised that authenticity shines brighter than any spotlight.”

“As I step into the international arena once again, I carry with me the lessons learned. I know that genuineness, resilience and an honest connection with people transcend borders. Whether I win a crown or not, I’ll continue making South Africa proud.”

In thanking South Africa for all the love and support in her journey so far, she describes the experience as nothing short of heartwarming.

“To every person who has cheered me on, sent kind words or simply believed in my dream, thank you. You are not just spectators; you are part of this adventure.”

Miss Supranational is set to take place in Nowy Sącz, Poland on 6 July 2024.

– Source:
Springbok World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi has been named on “Time” magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2024.
The former Stormers and Sharks rugby player, who now features for Racing 92 in France, led the Boks to World Cup glory last year after also leading the team to victory at the 2019 showpiece in Japan in 2019.

Kolisi is named among the “Innovators” on Time’s 100 list, which serves to highlight the world’s most influential people each year.

“These are the people who we believe most changed the stories that define the past year,” Time said in their reasoning for selecting who they did on the list.
South African comedian Trevor Noah, who is also an Emmy-winning television host, writes about Kolisi in the Time list:

“You can’t really separate South Africa’s history from rugby.

“Siya Kolisi, as the captain of the national rugby team, is right at the centre. He’s been the embodiment of hope during a time in which many South Africans find it hard to hold on to any.

“Siya has made rugby into something more than just a competition. His multiple victories – the country’s victories – have meant so much.

“Through his wisdom and humility, Siya has taught us what a powerful captain should be: someone who serves and inspires those he leads. And for him to lead a team in a historically white sport, to be loved and adored by fans of all races, is an immense achievement.

“He’s given so much to a nation of 62 million people. I hope he’s been savouring every moment of his success.”

Some of the world’s most recognisable names are on the Time list, among them Dua Lipa, Taraji P Henson, Kylie Minogue, and Michael J Fox, and other sports stars like Jenni Hermoso, Patrick Mahomes and Max Verstappen.

– Source:
Gerda Steyn cemented her place as South Africa’s long distance running queen when she won the 2024 Two Oceans ultra-marathon in record time to achieve a special feat.
In the men’s race, Onalenna Khonkhobe became the first South African to win the race since 2019 when he won in 3:09:30 after the much-fancied Stephen Mokoka failed to finish the race.

Steyn, who did the Two Oceans and Comrades Marathon double last year, blazed through the 56-kilometre route in 3:26:54, smashing her 2023 record of 3:29:06. It was Steyn’s fifth successive Two Oceans win, becoming the first athlete to achieve this feat.

Fellow South African Irvette van Zyl, who in the build-up was seen as Steyn’s biggest rival for the title, put up a brave fight but faded towards the end to finish second in a time of 3:29:30.

Loveness Madziva rounded off the podium by finishing in third place in 3:38:00.

Favourite to win the men’s title, Mokoka, did not finish the race after leading with 14km to go to the finish line.

Khonkhobe would not be denied after he managed to haul in Lloyd Bosman to secure the win. Bosman finished in second place (3:09:58).

Zimbabwean Givemore Mudzinganyama, the 2023 champion, finished third.

– Source:
South Africa’s own Brendali Theron has been crowned the World’s Strongest Woman in a dazzling display of power and resilience.
On 28 March 2024, in Dubai, Theron clinched the prestigious title, adding another sparkling jewel to her already illustrious career.

She proudly states, “South Africa is my home and Africa runs deep in my veins. Being South African fuels my passion and determination in everything I do.”

At 33 years old, Theron’s journey to the pinnacle of strength sports is nothing short of inspirational. Her path to glory was paved with years of hard work, dedication and an unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries.

Reflecting on her journey, Theron shares, “Mediocrity was never an option. I’ve always believed in giving life everything I’ve got.”
Her victory in the African Strongest Woman Championship in 2023 opened the door to the World Championships in Dubai. Under the watchful eyes of the Olympic committee, Theron faced a gruelling challenge that tested her limits like never before. From intense medleys demanding precision, power and mental fortitude to enduring hours of competition, Theron showcased the true essence of strength sports.

Coach Robin du Toit, the visionary founder of ArtisticFit, believes Theron’s triumph is just the beginning.

“Brendali is far from done,” remarks Du Toit. “Her focus on sustained performance sets her apart in a sport where longevity is key.”

Theron draws inspiration from various sources that have shaped her journey. Her brother’s resilience and dedication competing in the Paralympics, the vibrant spirit of South African culture and her coach’s unwavering commitment have all played pivotal roles in her success.

Her message to aspiring athletes resonates with encouragement and determination.

“Believe in yourself, stay dedicated to your goals, and never be afraid to push your limits,” Theron advises.

“Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, and always remember that hard work, perseverance, and passion are the keys to success.”

As South Africa celebrates its new world champion, Theron’s victory is a source of inspiration for future generations of athletes.

Her message to South Africa is filled with gratitude and immense pride, reflecting the nation’s indomitable spirit, resilience, and determination.

“As a new world champion, I am honoured to represent our country on the global stage,” Theron expresses.

“Together, united as one nation, we embody strength beyond measure. Let us continue to support and uplift each other, celebrating our diversity as a source of strength. By nurturing talent, fostering inclusivity, and striving for excellence, we inspire the world and leave a legacy of greatness. South Africa, together, we are unstoppable! Let’s embrace our potential, forge ahead with determination, and illuminate the world with our talents and achievements.”

Her victory is not just a personal achievement but a celebration of South Africa’s growing presence on the international sports stage.

– Source:
Erik van Rooyen of South Africa plays his tee shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.
Erik van Rooyen described his Masters experience as brutal, as he finished as the top South African at Augusta National on Sunday, 14 April 2024.

Van Rooyen finished in a tie for 55th with rounds of 71 76 78 76 to end on 13-over for the week.

Meanwhile, Scottie Scheffler romped to his second Masters title as he claimed victory by four shots on 11-under.

As the only South African player to make the cut after 2011 champion Charl Schwartzel and amateur Christo Lamprecht missed the cut, Van Rooyen was entering uncharted territory in his third Masters appearance.

His previous trips around Augusta saw Van Rooyen withdraw in 2020 and missed the cut in 2022.

This time, Van Rooyen made the cut with three shots to spare in conditions that he described as the most difficult he’s ever encountered.

“The first few days were absolutely brutal. Like I mentioned before, it's probably some of the toughest conditions I've ever played in,” said Van Rooyen.

“But it's now my third time here, and I've improved every single time I've come here. First time I had to withdraw, second time I missed the cut and now I played four rounds. Maybe next year it'll be even a bit better than that.”

Of the players that made the weekend, Van Rooyen finished ahead of only three of them, but that trio included Tiger Woods. The 15-time major winner finished last among the 60 players who made the cut.

– Source:
Bayanda Walaza, a Grade 12 learner at Curro Hazeldean in Pretoria, has captured global attention as the fastest teenager on the planet. Since joining the school on a scholarship, Bayanda’s dedication to both academics and athletics has propelled him to unprecedented success, setting the stage for a successful journey ahead.
The youngster’s journey to the pinnacle of sprinting showcases the transformative power of education and perseverance. Despite his extraordinary speed on the track, Bayanda remains grounded and committed to his studies, receiving academic support without compromising his training regimen.

At just 18 years old, Bayanda has shattered records and expectations with his exceptional performances. His recent triumph at the South African Junior Championships, where he claimed the titles in both the u20 100m and 200m events, solidified his status as the fastest teenager in the world. With a blistering time of 10.13 seconds in the 100m and a staggering 20.34 seconds in the 200m, Bayanda’s dominance is undeniable.

Under the expert guidance of the school’s coach, Coach T, Bayanda has made remarkable strides in surpassing his previous personal best times, shaving off nearly half a second. Coach T, also known as Thabo Matebedi, holds an illustrious record of mentoring eight African champions and continues to attract aspiring athletes from across the country who seek his guidance and coaching expertise.

As Bayanda sets his sights on the World U20 Track & Field Championships in Lima, Peru later this year, his school is proud to support his pursuit of excellence.

“Despite the challenges of balancing academics and athletics, Bayanda’s determination and focus have pushed him to the forefront of his sport, and we couldn’t be prouder of his achievements both on and off the track,” says Pierre Le Roux, Executive Head of Curro Hazeldean.

Reflecting on his journey, Bayanda remains resolute in his ambitions for the future. With big dreams of competing in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles as well as pursuing a degree in BCom Logistics at either the University of Pretoria or Tshwane University of Technology, Bayanda is ready to continue his ascent to greatness.

“I will forever be grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been given so far. Having the support of the Curro scholarship has been instrumental in my academic and sporting journey. I am incredibly excited to represent South Africa on the world stage and make my mark in Peru,” said Bayanda.

As he prepares to embark on his first international journey to Peru, Bayanda carries with him the hopes and dreams of a nation. He has his sights set on victory and a medal in both the 100m and 200m events and is ready to showcase his talent to the world.

– Source:
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