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President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa is proud of its ongoing support for the efforts of fellow African countries to emerge from conflict to rebuild and consolidate democracy.
The President returned from a working visit to South Sudan last week.

The northeast African country has emerged from the ravages of civil war to become one of the world’s newest independent nations – a feat that President Ramaphosa said is much akin to South Africa’s own journey.

“Much like our own experience as South Africa, the people of South Sudan were faced with the task of constructing a new nation in the midst of conflict and social divisions, all the while contending with a legacy of racial discrimination and oppression.

“The South Sudanese set out to do so in the face of the most extraordinary challenges. The incoming government of the newly independent country of South Sudan had to build an economy and institutional capacity from the ashes of their sad past,” he said.

The President recalled that when internal conflict broke out in South Sudan, South Africa joined the ranks for peace efforts.

These efforts, in part, resulted in the 2018 signing of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, which still holds to date.

“It is admirable that the permanent ceasefire continues to hold and that the parties to the agreement have honoured their commitment to end armed conflict and engender national security by seeking to form a united national defence force through the cantonment and training of former combatants.

“This political and legal framework that is being implemented outlines the aspirations of the people of South Sudan to bring a permanent end to armed conflict, consolidate democracy and determine their collective destiny. Included in the agreement are commitments to adopt a permanent constitution and create unified security services,” President Ramaphosa said.

Upcoming elections

President Ramaphosa emphasised that South Sudan now stands at a “crucial point in its journey towards consolidating democracy” with elections expected to be held this year in the country.

“Parties are hard at work to ensure that the necessary preconditions are in place for the holding of elections that are free, fair and credible,” he said.

The President explained that during his Working Visit to South Sudan, he met with President Salva Kiir Mayardit, First Vice-President Riek Machar and other South Sudanese political leaders.

“I also met with representatives of the African Union (AU), monitoring bodies and international development organisations. I was glad to see the progress that has been made in the run-up to the elections, including the establishment of a national elections commission and the registration of political parties.

“What is pleasing is that the South Sudanese are working together to address the outstanding issues on the agreed roadmap as the country advances towards elections. This proves that the adage, 'African solutions for African problems', is truly at work in South Sudan. The best we can all do is encourage and support the process,” he said.

The President insisted that the African continent and the international community “owe it to a people, who have suffered so much and for so long, to support South Sudan’s journey towards becoming a fully-fledged democracy”.

“Thirty years since we attained our freedom, we are proud of our ongoing support for the efforts of fellow African countries to emerge from conflict to rebuild and consolidate democracy.

“Despite the ravages of a bitter war, South Sudan was remarkably able to emerge and join the community of nations.

“With the ongoing political and material support of the international community, the United Nations, the AU and other countries supporting the peace process, stability, prosperity and a sustainable peace in South Sudan are well within reach,” President Ramaphosa said.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa says giving workers a seat at the table where strategic corporate decisions are made fosters good morale and innovation and also builds a resilient economy.
The President said this while delivering the keynote address at the inaugural Worker Share Ownership Conference held in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 23 April 2024.

The conference served as a platform for advocacy for Employee Share Ownership Plans in private companies.

“This conference is an opportunity for meaningful dialogue among a diverse array of participants, including trustees, CEOs, labour and business representatives, and company chairs. It is an opportunity to develop a model of worker ownership that can serve the needs of our economy.

“When workers participate as owners, the workers also develop a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities that face their own companies, enabling more fruitful partnerships to unlock opportunities for growth, investment and job creation.
“This is a paradigm shift, that aims to empower workers not only as wage earners but also as partners, as stakeholders with ownership in capital,” he said.

President Ramaphosa added that beyond social justice, “worker ownership initiatives make sound business and economic sense”.

“They are key to building a more resilient economy whose benefits flow equitably through society. Worker share ownership initiatives boost morale and productivity.

“Workers who feel valued and respected by their employers are more likely to contribute ideas for improving processes, products and services. It is human nature that one is more inclined to contribute one’s best efforts when one has a vested interest in the success of that particular venture,” he said.

Economic transformation

The President emphasised that government had done much to improve transformation of the economy following devastating apartheid legislation which deliberately excluded black South Africans from “participating meaningfully in the economy of their own country”.

The democratic government had done this through enacting laws in competition to bolster small and medium-sized enterprises, introducing labour legislation to ensure decent working conditions and the promulgation of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Act.

“Yet, despite the measures of successive democratic administrations that we have introduced to transform patterns of ownership in the economy, we still have much more to do.

“This is therefore a good time to collectively assess the impact of the enabling legislative environment to examine the learnings over the past two decades. A vital measure of economic empowerment is the extent to which ownership and control of the economy is broadened, particularly among black and female South Africans.

“Worker [share] ownership schemes are valuable instruments to broaden ownership and, with time, to enable greater control of the economy. Also known as Employee Share Ownership Programmes, these schemes are underpinned by the [BBBEE] Act, together with the Competition Act, the Companies Act and the various number of others,” he said.

Shared commitment

The President highlighted that government plays an important role in providing guidance on the design and implementation of these programmes through the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and also provides catalytic funding through the Industrial Development Corporation, the National Empowerment Fund and others.

He added, however, that a shared “commitment to economic transformation” is imperative.

“It is vital that we harness the spirit of partnership as we chart the course for the future of these programmes and for an even better, more sustainable worker shareholder regime.

“By championing worker ownership, we are building a future where every employee has a stake in the success of their company. Together, we are paving the way for a more equitable and prosperous society in which no-one is left behind,” President Ramaphosa said.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his deep sadness at the passing of liberation struggle veteran and former Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) President, Dr Ernest “Motsoko” Pheko.
Dr Pheko, aged 94, passed away on Friday, 19 April 2024.

He was a lawyer, author of 30 books, theologian, academic and historian.

According to a statement by The Presidency, President Ramaphosa has offered his condolences to the family, comrades and associates, both nationally and internationally, of Dr Pheko who formerly served as the PAC Representative to the United Nations and as a Member of Parliament during his distinguished political career.

“With the passing of Motsoko Pheko, we are grateful for the extended lifetime during which this son of Lesotho became a champion of our liberation struggle and fought for the rights of dispossessed and landless people who had endured colonialism and apartheid.

“His diverse qualifications and interests made Motsoko Pheko an invaluable contributor to human development and the intellectual heritage of our nation and that of our continent whose causes and accomplishments were uppermost in his consciousness and activism,” President Ramaphosa said.
As South Africa observes 30 years of freedom, the President said: “We honour all individuals and political traditions who brought about the dispensation in which we live today and to whom we remain indebted.”

“May Motsoko Pheko rest in peace,” President Ramaphosa said.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has wished the South African Jewish community Chag Sameach as they prepare to observe the Pesach holiday.
The holiday – also known as Passover – celebrates the story of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.

President Ramaphosa said: “The Jewish community is an important and deeply valued part of our diverse society. As we reflect on the story of Exodus, let us take this moment to appreciate the freedoms we enjoy and commit ourselves to the value of Tikkun Olam, healing the world.”

The week-long observation of the holiday commenced on Monday and will end on 30 April 2024.

– Source:
The Chancellor of the National Orders, Director-General in The Presidency, Phindile Baleni, has announced the recipients of National Orders.
The National Orders are the highest awards that South Africa, through the President, bestows on citizens and well-known foreign nationals who have contributed towards the advancement of democracy and who have significantly impacted the lives of South Africans.

The awards also recognise the contributions made by individuals who contributed and continue to contribute to building a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa, as envisaged in the Constitution.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will bestow on deserving recipients the Order of Mendi for Bravery, the Order of Ikhamanga, the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli, the Order of Mapungubwe, and the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo at a prestigious ceremony on 30 April 2024.

The Order of Mendi

The Order of Mendi for Bravery recognises South African citizens who have performed acts of bravery.

The Order of Mendi in Silver recipients:

Mawilliams Kekana (posthumously): For her generosity and courageous act of sheltering freedom fighters when it was illegal to align with revolutionaries. She offered her house as a haven for liberation stalwarts against the hostile security police.
Ignatius “Iggy” Mthebule (posthumously): For his gallant fight against an unjust system of apartheid. He is among many lost sons and daughters, whose demise in the hands of security police remains unknown, as he disappeared without a trace. This was at the height of political upheaval, where opposition was brutally silenced. Despite his disappearance, he left an indelible mark of courage and leadership.

Makhwezi McDonald Mtulu (posthumously): For his excellent contribution to the liberation of the people of South Africa. He responded to the brave call to join the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC) forsaking the safety of his home to the fight for freedom and died in the process of executing the armed struggle.

Robert Anthony Basil Waterwitch (posthumously): For courageously pushing back against the oppressive system of the apartheid government. He ultimately lost his life for the ideals of freedom in the middle of the war against racism and inequality.

Coline Denise Williams (posthumously): For courageously pushing back against the oppressive system of the apartheid government. She ultimately lost her life for the ideals of freedom in the middle of the war against racism and inequality.

The Order of Ikhamanga

The Order of Ikhamanga recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.

The Order of Ikhamanga in Gold recipients:

Nontando “Noni” Helen Jabuva (posthumously): For her excellent contribution to the field of journalism and scholarship on the liberation struggle. Her affinity for history and storytelling through journalism informed and enlightened the nation.

Aggrey Klaaste (posthumously): For his exceptional contribution to quality journalism and as a reporter exposing the cruelties of apartheid and encouraging unity among the people of different political persuasions to fight for liberation. He was a nation-builder with a vision for an equal and thriving society.

Madala Muzwakhe Kunene: For his exceptional contribution to the arts, especially jazz music, using home-brewed sounds that are unique to South Africa. He has collaborated with some of the best talents in our country.

The Order of Ikhamanga in Silver recipients:

Agnus Gibson: For his contribution to filmmaking. He strived to provide a haven for black artists at a time when discrimination was normalised and practised with impunity. His collaborations produced iconic narratives of South African history and youth culture.

Emile Lester Jansen: For his contribution to the field of arts and hip-hop culture in South Africa. His artistry and activism formulated a unique lexicon now firmly known as Afrikaap, explaining the African origins of hip-hop.

Saray Nkusi Khumalo: For being an inspiring way-maker for many women through her quest of summiting seven mountains while raising funds. She inspires every African child to pursue what may seem to be impossible dreams.

Sophie Msoziswa Mahlangu: For her excellent contribution to the development of indigenous Ndebele arts. Her commitment to passing on knowledge to younger generations is commendable; she has become a bridge connecting generations.

Madosini Latozi Mphahleni (posthumously): For her exceptional service in preserving and elevating indigenous South African musical traditions. In a rapidly changing world, she stood as a guardian of these ancient sounds, ensuring they were not forgotten. Her commitment to passing on her knowledge to younger generations was unmatched, safeguarding the nation's identity and cultural heritage.

Trevor Dundas Mweli Skota (posthumously): For his contribution to the promotion of black African knowledge through his trailblazing work, including a biographical dictionary of notable black figures on the continent.

The Order of the Baobab

The Order of the Baobab recognises South African citizens who have contributed to community service, business and economy, science, medicine and technological innovation.

The Order of the Baobab in Gold recipients:

Blanche Valeria La Guma (posthumously): For her courageous fight for social justice and equality for all South Africans. She lived by the courage of her convictions and fought for the rights of workers and the liberation of the oppressed.

Zukiswa Patricia Matolengwe: For her commitment to realising social justice for the homeless and downtrodden using ingenious means of stokvels for financial empowerment. Her tireless work in providing dignified living space for the homeless is laudable.

The Order of Luthuli

The Order of Luthuli recognises South African citizens who have contributed to the struggle for democracy, nation-building, building democracy and human rights, justice and peace as well as for the resolution of conflict.

The Order of Luthuli in Gold recipients:

Mxolisi “Dicky” Jacobs (posthumously): For his ultimate sacrifice to the struggle for liberation. His life ended by defending the principles of a just and equal society. Although his life was cut short, he remains a towering stalwart of the struggle who laid down his life for the liberation of his people.

Peter Cyril Jones (posthumously): For his courageous contribution in mobilising communities across the length and breadth of South Africa. He was one of the leading lights advocating for the Black Consciousness message of self-reliance, pride and self-affirmation for the oppressed people.

Benjamin Langa (posthumously): For his ultimate sacrifice for equality and social justice in South Africa. He endured unimaginable pain and remained loyal to the cause until the end. His legacy remains a beacon of light and inspiration to many.

Thobekile “Tobsy” Madaka (posthumously): For his gallant fight against the oppression of our people. He fearlessly spoke truth to power and eventually gave his life for the democracy of South Africa. He lived by the courage of his convictions and faced the wrath of the oppressive regime.

Siphiwo Mthimkhulu (posthumously): For his gallant fight against the oppression of our people. His fearlessness and leadership belied his age as he boldly confronted the forces of oppression and eventually gave his life for the democracy of South Africa. He lived by the courage of his convictions and faced the wrath of the oppressive regime.

Prof. Harry Ranwedzi Nengwekhulu: For his gallant fight for the liberation of the people of South Africa. He has straddled academia and political activism with the goal of a free South Africa always in his mind and has served as a source of inspiration for many Black Consciousness activists and others

Kenneth Rachidi (posthumously): For his courage to face a repressive government and resist its unjust laws that promoted inequality. He lived by the ethics of Black Consciousness. His activism and vocal opposition to oppression remain a legacy and inspiration to South Africans.

Annie Silinga (posthumously): For her commitment to the liberation struggle. She played a leading role in some of the liberation campaigns. She continued to campaign against passes at national and local events.

Nokuthula Simelane (posthumously): For her incredible bravery in the face of brutal security operatives. She lived by the courage of her convictions and faced the wrath of the oppressive regime. Her ultimate sacrifice for the liberation of all South Africans will remain in the annals of our nation’s history.

The Order of Mapungubwe

The Order of Mapungubwe recognises South Africans who have accomplished excellence and exceptional achievement to the benefit of South Africa and beyond.

The Order of Mapungubwe in Silver:

Prof Mulalo Doyoyo (posthumously): For his enormous contribution to academia and research in the field of aerospace.  His outstanding work continues to open doors. The sciences have been enhanced by his participation and young aspirant scientists looked up to him as a mentor.

The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo

The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo recognises eminent foreign nationals and other foreign dignitaries for friendship shown to South Africa. It is therefore an order of peace, cooperation and active expression of solidarity and support.

The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo recipients:

Huub Bammens from the Netherlands: For his contribution to promoting awareness of human rights violations by the South African apartheid government to the world via Radio Freedom. His technical skills were used to build studios for the liberation movement.

Donna Katzin from the United States: For her innovative thinking in assisting post-apartheid South African businesses get ethical investments by promoting networking between South African businesses and American investors.

Ken Luckhard from Canada: For his selfless service to South Africa through anti-apartheid activism. He organised a mass disruptive protest against a visiting English cricket team that had links with apartheid sport.

Nicholas Stadlen from the United Kingdom: For his steadfast standing with the South African liberation movement at a time when it was not convenient to do so. He believed in equality and supported exiles as a friend of South Africa.

Fulco van Aurich from the Netherlands: For his contribution to promoting awareness of human rights violations by the South African apartheid government to the world via Radio Freedom. He organised and developed a campaign in the Netherlands to support Radio Freedom.

Brenda Wall from Canada: For her selfless service to South Africa through anti-apartheid activism; she organised a mass disruptive protest against a visiting English cricket team that had links with apartheid sport.

“We congratulate the recipients and call on all South Africans to join us in celebrating these outstanding South Africans and distinguished friends of South Africa,” Baleni said.

– Source:
Deputy President Paul Mashatile is undertaking a working visit to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Deputy President arrived in the UAE on Tuesday, 23 April 2024 and will wrap up his visit on Thursday, 25 April 2024.

According to The Presidency, the UAE visit is aimed at building and strengthening bilateral relations, particularly increasing economic and knowledge exchange between the two states.

The country’s second-in-command and his delegation will engage with experts in the telecommunications and digital economy, in line with South Africa’s goals related to expanding technological and digital infrastructure towards meaningful universal connectivity.
“Countries are moving towards digital sovereignty and South Africa, as one of the leading nations in the sector within the continent, has the opportunity to spearhead initiatives in this regard towards strengthening public service delivery and enhancing participation in the digital economy. This Working Visit is, as such, integral to building capacity towards digital sovereignty,” The Presidency explained.

During the visit, the Deputy President will interact with the Ministry of Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Applications as well as other relevant national and regional entities within the UAE.

The UAE, according to The Presidency, is a competitive market for the information and communication technology (ICT) sector in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The UAE public sector investment helps drive demand for ICT products and services in sectors such as healthcare, aviation, defence, transportation, financial services and others linked to the UAE’s economic diversification plans.

The visit by the Deputy President provides an opportunity for the South African Government to increase knowledge and expertise in the ICT sector towards the improvement and expansion of public services and governance systems through digital economy channels.

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Candith Mashego-Dlamini, Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Mondli Gungubele and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola accompanied the Deputy President to the UAE.

– Source:
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, co-chaired the VII Session of the South Africa-Brazil Joint Commission (JC) on 23 April 2024 in Brasilia, Brazil, with her counterpart, Minister Mauro Vieira, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federative Republic of Brazil.
On 13 December 2003, South Africa and Brazil signed an agreement to establish a JC. A Declaration on Strategic Partnership and an Action Plan was signed in 2010.

The JC serves as a mechanism to monitor and facilitate the implementation of the Action Plan in several areas such as agriculture; defence; economic and commercial relations; environment; health; higher education and technical cooperation; justice and correctional services; minerals and energy; science, technology, and communications; sports, arts and culture.

The JC is composed of 10 sectoral working groups (WGs).

A Senior Officials Meeting was held on 10 April 2024 to review the work done by the working groups in preparation for the JC.

South Africa shares a common history and cultural heritage with Brazil’s over 100 million population of African descent (African Diaspora), the second largest African Diaspora in the Americas region.

Brazil will host the Sixth Region Diaspora Conference in the state of Bahia from 20 to 22 May 2024 as one of the preparatory meetings for the Ninth Pan African Conference that will be held in Togo, in October 2024.

South Africa and Brazil, as member countries of the global South, actively advance the developmental agenda of the South through, among others, the United Nations; India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA); Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS); Group of Twenty (G20); World Trade Organisation (WTO); and international financial institutions.

Brazil is currently holding the IBSA Chair, the G20 Presidency and in 2025 will chair the BRICS Plus as well as the Conference of the Parties (COP) 30. On 1 December 2023, South Africa became a member of the G20 Troika, with India and Brazil and will assume the Presidency of G20 in 2025.

Brazil is South Africa’s largest trading partner in Latin America and is the second-largest trading partner in the Americas after the United States. South Africa is Brazil’s second largest export partner in Africa.

The resumption of LATAM Airlines’ and SAA’s direct flights between Sao Paulo and Johannesburg in 2023 has opened opportunities to scale up tourism, trade and people-to-people relations.

– Source:
International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, says South Africa cannot have "normal relations" with Israel, as long as it is committing war crimes and genocide against Palestinians, removing them from their land, and is unwilling to negotiate a viable peace plan without preconditions.
“South Africa cannot be a party to Israel’s actions that would see the promise of Palestinian Statehood reduced to balkanised entities, devoid of true sovereignty, without territorial contiguity and with no economic viability,” Minister Pandor said on Monday, 22 April 2024, while delivering a lecture at the Rio Branco Institute in Brasilia, Brazil.

The South African Government, according to Minister Pandor, has consistently expressed its concern at the plight of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, especially in light of the acts meeting the threshold of genocide.

Minister Pandor said the “question of Palestine”, as it is known in the United Nations (UN), is the longest unresolved human rights challenge on the UN’s agenda.

“It is primarily a question about the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. This is a right that, according to international law, gives Palestinians the right to resist the illegal occupation of their land.”

She said South Africa concurs with UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks that opposition to a two-state solution was “unacceptable".

The Minister believes that the Palestinian people are part of an existing sovereign State and have a claim to their independent sovereignty based on their right to self-determination.

“The fact of colonisation creates this right – they have been conquered and subjected to the jurisdiction of a foreign State without their consent and are living under occupation by a foreign and oppressive occupier.

"This is the form of self-determination that is most widely accepted, and which most clearly provides the right to one’s independent State,” she explained.

Minister Pandor said it was now more than 74 years since the UN General Assembly approved Resolution 181 (II) recognising the partitioning of Palestine and proposed establishing two independent states, which were supposed to coexist in peace and harmony.

“Despite the length of time and efforts brought to bear, the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian State is yet to become a reality.

“The most serious violation of human rights has involved the denial of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. This is a right enshrined in the UN Charter,” she stressed.

Minister Pandor raised concerns about the political solution, which is "not yet in sight".

“The relentless military operations by Israel and its genocidal acts have aggravated the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

“The extreme nature of the crisis in Gaza must not eclipse the fact that the West Bank and East Jerusalem are in turmoil. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, the number of illegal Israeli settlers occupying Palestinian land has increased from 269 200 at that time to 700 000 today.”

Meanwhile, the number of Palestinians held in Israeli jails has almost doubled to over 7 000, including 200 women and children as young as 12-years old.

According to the Minister, the conflict has seen the killing of over 33 000 Palestinians since October 2023.

The ongoing bombardment of Gaza by Israel has resulted in more civilian casualties, almost half of which are children, the Minister told her audience.

She also raised an alarm about the threat of famine, which is imminent with disastrous consequences.

“Those engaged in active warfare must be reminded that the targeting of civilians, humanitarian workers, journalists and UN personnel, as well as the destruction of houses and other civilian infrastructure, is illegal under international law.”

Minister Pandor is of the view that South Africa made a compelling case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In January this year, the ICJ ruled that Israel’s actions in Gaza are plausibly genocidal and indicated provisional measures on that basis.

She also took a swipe at the veto power wielded by individual states, which she said she believes cannot be permitted to thwart international justice in light of the ever-worsening situation in Gaza.

South Africa, Minister Pandor said, is gravely concerned about the unprecedented imminent military offensive against Rafah, which she said would result in further large-scale killing, harm and destruction.

“South Africa reiterates its call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and remains committed to seeing an end to the occupation of Palestine and calls for concrete action concerning ending the Apartheid system in Israel and Palestine.”

– Source:
International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, has welcomed Egypt into the family of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) nations.
“This development further enhances the role the South plays in global matters,” she said on Friday, 19 April 2024.

The BRICS grouping of major emerging economies has admitted four new members. These include Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates.

Minister Pandor was speaking in Pretoria where she was co-chairing the 10th Session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) with her counterpart, Egypt Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry.

Meanwhile, Minister Pandor said South Africa and Egypt need to exponentially increase trade and investment.

“In this regard, partnerships between our private sectors and state-owned entities are crucial. This also entails the need to formally establish and launch a Business Council,” she said.

The Minister announced that a decision on the Business Council has been taken and once operational, this structure will go a long way in coordinating and galvanising trade and investment opportunities.

She also asked her counterpart to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which will facilitate easier trade.

“As an important blueprint and contributor to integration, the AfCFTA lessens the barriers towards trade, promotes preferential trade and provides an enabling framework, which will be mutually beneficial to both our two countries and the continent in general.”

She stated that long bonds of friendship, solidarity and collaboration underpin their relationship.

Minister Pandor also paid tribute to Egypt for supporting the country’s anti-apartheid movement, which eventually led to the demise of the old order and the creation of a democratic and free South Africa.

Minister Pandor believed that the depth and impact of the bilateral relationship is very important. “The Cape to Cairo nexus should not only be one of our guiding lights but should highlight the importance of regional integration.”


Meanwhile, Minister Pandor said the framework provided by the JCC entailed that the constituent committees cover a wide range of areas of bilateral cooperation.

These included trade and investment, agriculture and agro-processing, infrastructure development, water resources management, health, financial services, tourism, transport, information technology, communications, women and people with disabilities, judicial matters, sport, arts and culture, people-to-people links and consular issues.

She also announced that several agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) are expected to be concluded during the session.


She highlighted several conflicts and wars that have erupted and called on the international community to be vigilant and redouble its efforts to promote peace, stability and development.

“The United Nations (UN), our premier guarantor of global order as enshrined in its charter, and the regional organisations should remain seized and be decisive in addressing these matters.”

However, Minister Pandor said the world was witnessing an attack on the global system of multilateralism and its institutions of governance.

“The world is seeing the rise of unilateralism and impunity that threatens to erode the very foundations of multilateralism, international law and the creation of a just and equitable world.”

South Africa, she said, is deeply concerned about the unfolding tragedy that has befallen the people of Palestine.

“The catastrophe that is happening before our eyes in the Gaza Strip, with the destruction carried out by the occupying state of Israel, and the humanitarian disaster therein, is a collective blemish on the moral conscience of the world.”

She also spoke about the unresolved plight of the Saharawi people.

“Silencing the guns on our continent is a pressing challenge that the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities should continue to address.”

She reiterated South Africa’s position, which views dialogue, mediation and negotiations as vital for the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

“In this regard, it is important not to further delay the reforms needed to transform the UN, particularly the UN Security Council, and for it to reflect the realities of today. In this endeavour, although North-South collaboration remains important, the global South should remain united in ensuring that its voice is resoundingly clear.”

– Source:
The South African Government will continue to support the Government and people of South Sudan as their country works towards “consolidating peace, democracy and development”.
This according to Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, who was delivering remarks on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa during his Working Visit to the Northeast African country.

“We are here to express our support to the leadership and people of South Sudan on the ongoing efforts to consolidate peace, democracy and development, at this critical moment in the country’s history,” Minister Pandor said.

The Minister commended South Sudan for the “historic” Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), which was signed in 2018 – bringing an end to conflict in that country, which “almost derailed the prospects of building a stable, peaceful and prosperous country”.

“It has been five years since this peace agreement was signed. We are encouraged by the progress achieved thus far. The ceasefire agreement is holding and threats to the country’s peace and stability have been reduced. We believe that with the ongoing work in the establishment of the unified security forces for the country, the security situation will further improve.

“We are encouraged that the parties remain committed to the Revitalised Agreement as the most viable vehicle to address the root causes of the conflict and building sustainable peace in South Sudan,” Minister Pandor said.

Upcoming elections

South Sudan is expected to hold national elections following a transitional period.

Ahead of this, the country’s National Elections Commission, Political Parties Council and the National Constitution Review Commission have been reconstituted.

Minister Pandor said the elections will be a key moment for South Sudan.

“The people of South Sudan are eagerly waiting for the general elections which will bring the end of the transitional period. These elections will be a watershed moment in the country’s transition to democracy.

“I understand that parties are engaged in a dialogue in order to agree on the necessary conditions for the holding of credible elections. This will require addressing the outstanding provisions of the Revitalised Agreement such as the adoption of the permanent constitution and the security arrangements.

“Lasting peace, stability and development will depend on how the collective leadership navigates the challenging times ahead. The Revitalised Agreement is a very comprehensive commitment on how to take the country forward and the parties to it must be applauded. Progress in the implementation of the provisions of the R-ARCSS is laudable. However, more work is still outstanding,” she said.

The Minister added that South Africa offers its support for the country.

“[We] are hopeful that the parties will continue to dialogue and find consensus on outstanding issues of the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement so that the people of South Sudan can look forward to a peaceful and democratic end to the transitional period.

“On behalf of my Government and people of South Africa, we reiterate our commitment to support the South Sudanese as they go through the transitional period.

“We will provide every support possible within our means to ensure a democratic and peaceful end to the transitional period,” Minister Pandor concluded.

– Source:
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Alvin Botes, hosted the State Secretary for Foreign and Global Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain, Diego Martínez Belío, on 23 April 2024.
Deputy Minister Botes and State Secretary Martínez Belío co-chaired the 15th Session of the South Africa-Spain Bilateral Consultations. South Africa’s bilateral relations with Spain are managed through the Bilateral Consultations and meets annually at the Deputy Minister level.

The Official Visit to South Africa enhanced the already strong relations between South Africa and Spain. This visit highlighted the existing cooperation between the two countries and reviewed the progress and implementation of existing agreements.
The meeting deepened engagement and discussions in areas of mutual interest to both countries, particularly in trade and investment, education, science and innovation, climate change and renewable energy, as well as human rights, migration and women, peace and security.

Bilateral trade between South Africa and Spain grew by 9.7% from US$3.1 billion in 2022 to US$3.4 billion in 2023. In 2023, Spain was South Africa’s 18th trading partner globally and the fifth largest trading partner in the European Union. During the same period, South Africa was Spain’s second-largest export destination and seventh-largest source of imports on the African continent. South Africa’s exports to Spain grew by 12.8% from US$1.41 billion in 2022 to US$1.77 billion in 2023.

Over the past 10 years, there has been steady investment in South Africa by Spanish companies. The bulk of the investment is in the renewable energy sector. South African companies have also looked to Spain as an investment destination in the Real Estate sector. More than 150 Spanish companies have invested in South Africa creating over 20 000 jobs, largely in the following sectors: infrastructure development, renewable energy, financial services, tourism, textiles, IT and Software, metals, and mining.

Spain also remains a strategic European tourism market for South Africa. There has been a slight recovery in terms of tourist arrivals from Spain for the periods 2022 and 2023. Tourist arrivals increased by a total of 8 716 between the above-mentioned years, from 23 304 in 2023 to 32 020 in 2024. This is a positive indication of inbound travel slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels as far as this market is concerned.

The recent various high-level engagements between South Africa and Spain symbolise the commitment by both countries to promote a better and more equitable world to benefit the people of both countries.

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The Director-General (DG) of International Relations and Cooperation, Zane Dangor and his counterpart, Lounes Magramane, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Community Abroad of the People`s Democratic Republic of Algeria, held Political Consultations during a Working Visit to South Africa. The consultations formed part of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) mechanism at the senior officials’ level between the two countries.
South Africa and Algeria enjoy very good political and fraternal relations dating back to the period when Algeria supported the South African anti-apartheid struggle. Furthermore, these consultations took place within the current context of a challenging global geo-political landscape characterised by rising tensions and conflicts that threaten to further destabilise international peace and security, including the multilateral system. During the meeting, among others, views were exchanged on developments in the Middle East and North Africa, the Sahel and other conflict situations on the African continent, as well as other critical matters of global concern such as climate change.

DG Dangor and Secretary-General Magramane also discussed areas of bilateral cooperation, particularly in many areas such as political, economic, scientific, educational, cultural and people-to-people matters. Relations between South Africa and Algeria in the past three decades were initially anchored in the formation of a Ministerial Joint BNC of Cooperation in 1998 and later with its elevation to a BNC at Heads of State, established in 2000. The latter provides a framework for the consolidation and deepening of bilateral cooperation for the mutual benefit of both countries. In this regard, the visit and the consultations held, contributed towards the strengthening of bilateral relations.

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South Africa is appalled by the recent grim discovery of a mass grave containing the remains of 202 Palestinian civilians at Nasser Hospital in Gaza. This follows the reported discovery of mass graves at Al-Shifa Hospital.
These grim findings call for immediate and comprehensive investigations to ensure justice and accountability.

Israel continues to disregard the rulings by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and United Nations (UN) Resolutions unabated amid the unrelenting bombardment of Gaza, particularly the ICJ’s ruling, which granted South Africa’s Urgent Request of 6 March 2024 for further provisional measures to prevent Israel from causing irreparable harm to the rights invoked by South Africa under the 1948 Genocide Convention in respect of the ongoing siege of Gaza.

The court was unambiguous when it agreed with South Africa’s assertion that the situation in Gaza had deteriorated significantly since the Court’s Order of 26 January 2024 as a result of Israel’s failure and responsibility to comply with the court’s rulings.
The lack of accountability by Israel is becoming increasingly clear. South Africa concurs with the assertion made by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Tlaleng Mofokeng, when she aptly stated that Israel’s war in Gaza has from the start been a “war on the right to health” and has “obliterated” the Palestinian territory’s health system. We further concur with the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, Francesca Albanese, when she recently highlighted that the continuation of Israel’s impunity and exceptionalism is no longer viable, especially in light of the binding UN Security Council Resolution 2728, which called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

In this respect, we call on the international community to act to bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure accountability for the victims and their families.

We note that the evidence of mass killings of civilians points to the perpetration of war crimes, crimes against humanity, including murder and extermination, and genocide as defined in Articles 6, 7 and 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), as well as violations of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, as well as Customary International Humanitarian Law.

International humanitarian law prohibits attacks on civilians and non-combatants, underlining the need to protect human life during times of war.

The ICC has jurisdiction over the situation in Palestine. We therefore call on the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC to urgently lead a thorough and impartial investigation into this matter, which complies with international legal standards, to establish the facts and bring those responsible to justice.

It is the collective duty of the international community to ensure that atrocities of this nature are duly prosecuted in terms of the Rome Statute and the Geneva Conventions.

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Cabinet has called on South Africans to participate in the celebrations and commemoration of South Africa’s 30 years of freedom.

Some 30 years ago, South Africa moved from the repressive and segregation-based policy of apartheid into a new democratic dispensation, ushering in freedom for millions of South Africans who were previously oppressed and disadvantaged because of the colour of their skin.

“Cabinet calls on all South Africans and sectors of society to participate in celebrating 30 Years of Freedom and Democracy. South Africans can participate by telling their stories on what it was like to have lived in apartheid South Africa and help us to build on the achievements we have made so far,” a Cabinet statement read on Monday, 22 April 2024.
Cabinet reflected on the work that has been done to bring a better life for all South Africans, even as challenges persist.

“We have worked since 1994 to build a society based on unity and togetherness and while many challenges still remain, conditions have fundamentally improved with each passing day. The great strides we have made since 1994 are reflected in Census 2022 and the 30-Year Review.

“Both paint a picture of a society on the move, and which reflects improvements across most indicators. The findings of the Census and the 30-Year Review conclusively demonstrate that our development is not by chance but rather by design from government programmes since 1994,” the statement said.

Earlier this month, government officially launched the commemoration of 30 Years of Freedom and Democracy, held under the theme, 30 Years of Democracy, Partnership and Growth.

The launch, which was held at Freedom Park Heritage Site, included the unveiling of the official 30 Years of Freedom logo which Cabinet called a “symbol that will unify us as we celebrate this significant milestone in the history of our country”.

“The launch marked the official commencement of the year-long activities to celebrate the remarkable progress we have made since 1994 in establishing a democratic society based on the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 and the Bill of Rights.

“This momentous occasion is also an opportunity to reflect on the challenges that remain and find ways to overcome them and move our country forward,” the Cabinet statement said.

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On 23 April 2024, in a dazzling display of pride and unity, South Africa took centre stage in the heart of New York City. An advert celebrating our upcoming Freedom Day and “30 Years of Democracy” illuminated the iconic NASDAQ Tower in Times Square, one of the world’s most prominent billboards.
As the clock struck 18h00 in South Africa (12h00 in New York), images of our beautiful country graced the screens of the Big Apple’s most famous square, captivating both locals and tourists alike and making headlines on news channels around the globe.

The NASDAQ billboard, often dubbed the “NASDAQ Market Site Tower,” is an impressive digital canvas that spans 929 square metres and stands 36.6 metres tall (10 000 square feet and 120 feet tall). For that special moment, South Africa’s story unfolded across this colossal screen, capturing the essence of our nation’s journey over the past 30 years.

This awe-inspiring campaign is a collaboration between the South African Consulate-General in New York City and several partners. And it’s not just a one-night affair; it’s the kick-off to a series of events set to unfold in the coming days to commemorate our “30 Years of Democracy”. Among the planned festivities are a South African flag-raising ceremony with the Mayor of New York and an event hosted by “Shared Interest”, shining a spotlight on our rich culture and shared values.

SABC News’ United States-Correspondent Sherwin Bryce Pease was on the ground to capture the excitement, reporting live from Times Square.

As we approach 27 April 2024, a date etched in our history as the 30th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections, our nation prepares to commemorate Freedom Day. This special day serves as a tribute to the brave men and women who fought tirelessly for our freedom, laying the foundations for an equal, representative and non-racial South Africa.

Throughout this month, we are reminded to reflect on the remarkable progress we have made on our democratic journey and consider how we can continue to strengthen our democracy for future generations.

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Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, says the Northern Cape – with its high sun exposure and wind energy potential – has the potential to be a central part of South Africa’s renewable energy complex.
Minister Ramokgopa was speaking during an event to mark the commercial operation of the Scatec ASA-owned 540MW solar and battery energy storage facility based at Kenhardt in that province.

The project, totalling 540 MW solar and 225 MW/1 140 MWh battery storage, is one of the world’s largest hybrid solar and battery storage facilities. The project was awarded by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy under the technology-agnostic Risk Mitigation IPP procurement programme (RMIPPP).

The project has a total capex of approximately US$1 billion and marks the largest commitment in Scatec’s history. The power will be sold under a 20-year PPA with Eskom. Scatec holds 51% of the equity and H1 Holdings, the local Black Economic Empowerment partner, holds 49%.

Minister Ramokgopa said that the construction of renewable energy facilities in the province should translate into “meaningful impact” on long-term job creation.

“[The] jobs and the opportunities that we are creating are transitional. At the height of construction [Scatec ASA] created 2000-plus jobs and it’s the nature of this development that once it gets to be operational, the jobs numbers taper down.

“But the people still remain here and they are still searching for opportunities so it’s important that we are able to have a new conversation and this is not about Scatec, this is about how we see the Northern Cape as a major player in the renewable energy complex,” he said.

He further emphasised that provincial and national government is discussing how investments in the province can also have a meaningful, long-term impact through localisation and the creation of industry.

“It’s important that opportunities get to be domesticated here and part of that conversation is to see how best we can translate the Northern Cape as the renewable energy complex of the country and on the back of that, create new industries.

“When you have 60% of close to R260 billion of investment sunk in this province, you have to see the difference even before you are told that it accounts for that.

“So part of the conversation is to ensure that you domesticate these investments [and] that the opportunities that comes about the centre of these investments must be centred in the Northern Cape,” he said.

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Volkswagen South Africa’s (VWSA) investment of R4 billion in their assembly plant in Kariega, in the Eastern Cape, has been welcomed by Trade, Industry and Competition Minister, Ebrahim Patel.
The investment will introduce a new SUV model built on the Polo platform.

The move also positions the facility as the sole manufacturer of the Polo brand globally and the new SUV model will be exported to global markets.

Minister Patel addressed the public announcement held at VWSA’s facility in Kariega.

He said the investment was a testament to the country’s industrial policy and it will not only strengthen the assembly plant, but also secure the livelihoods of approximately 3 500 people who are directly employed by VWSA.

“Moreover, this investment has rippled through this part of the Eastern Cape, fostering an ecosystem of prosperity and industrialisation, supporting an estimated 50 000 indirect jobs and livelihoods.”

In the last five years, the department said government has undertaken significant work to bolster automotive production in South Africa.

Minister Patel highlighted 10 actions, that have been taken in the sixth administration to support the industry:
  • New Automotive Masterplan crafted together with the industry was implemented in July 2021, setting the policy framework for the next decade
  • The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has concluded modalities, including rules of origin for a first list of auto products, opening up a vast market
  • A free-trade agreement with the United Kingdom (UK) after Brexit was concluded and implemented, which enabled South Africa to retain access to preferential terms in the UK market
  • The establishment of the R6 billion Auto Industry Transformation Fund, which VWSA and other Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) contribute to bringing black component manufacturers into the supply chain
  • A major agreement with tier one auto component manufacturers has been concluded that will ensure greater opportunities for black manufacturers in tier-two or tier-three levels
  • R50 billion in investment commitments in the auto sector have been secured
  • A landmark agreement with Stellantis for the construction of a new R3 billion plant in the Coega Special Economic Zone has been reached
  • Semi-knocked down (SKD) production by BAIC, also in the Coega Special Economic Zone, has commenced as a first phase toward more value-additive complete knocked down (CKD) production
  • A new Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone has been established, with 10 factories for Ford suppliers already built by March 2024, employing 3 300 workers
  • The Electric Vehicle Policy was finalised by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), and a new incentive package to assist the transition was announced by the Minister of Finance in the 2024 Budget.
According to the department, the automotive industry plays a crucial role in our economy, contributing significantly to gross domestic product (GDP) and employment.

The manufacturing component of the auto industry contributed 2.9% of South Africa’s GDP in 2022.

With over 115 000 direct employees and an additional 240 000 indirect jobs, the department said the auto industry remains a cornerstone of South Africa's manufacturing sector.

“Despite global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions, South Africa’s automotive industry has continued to grow.”

Over the past five calendar years, South African OEMs produced 2.7 million vehicles and exported 1.7 million vehicles.

In 2023, South Africa exported a record 399 594 vehicles, a milestone for its industrial resilience and global competitiveness.

Notably, last year, South Africa exported its six millionth vehicle since the start of the democratic era.

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Chinese-invested enterprises in South Africa, including Huawei, gathered at the Gallagher Convention Centre for Job Fair 2024. The event was supported by the Chinese Embassy and run by the South Africa-China Economic and Trade Association (SACETA).
Building on the achievements of the previous job fair in 2022, this edition emphasised the two countries' shared goal of creating high-quality jobs and promoting sustainable economic development within South Africa.

Huawei is proud to play its role at this job fair as one of the 60 Chinese-invested companies that met with youth and recruited for job vacancies across ICT, finance, energy transportation and many other sectors.

The Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of China, Li Zhigang opened the event and highlighted the positive economic and developmental impact of this collaboration between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China.

“The presence of more than 200 Chinese-invested companies in South Africa has created more than 400 000 jobs,” said Zhigang.

Minister of Social Development of South Africa, Lindiwe Zulu, told the students in attendance they must take on the opportunity for new challenges, like studying in China and learning a new language.

Speaking about sectors where South Africa wants to see more growth in the future, Zulu said, “We must continue to deepen the South Africa-China economic partnership through cooperation in areas such as infrastructure development, energy, digital technologies, education and tourism.”

The job fair can unlock these opportunities because it promotes networking between local youth and companies within SACETA. This job fair is a unique opportunity for young people to advance their careers and find meaningful work; some even signing contracts with companies on the day.

Minister in The Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Maropene Marakgopa spoke on the value these types of opportunities can bring for students in our country.

“Healthy trade relations remain instrumental in addressing poverty, inequality and unemployment,” she said.

“As Huawei we are heavily invested in South Africa; it's one of our strategic regions, so we’re proud to be at this job fair hoping to catalyse youth employment,” said Kemogotsitse Bosielo, Senior Public Relations Manager at Huawei. He stressed that the company wants to see more students with ICT skills because it's estimated that by 2030 that the digital economy will contribute about 30% to global gross domestic product.

Huawei takes its role within that talent development process, “very seriously,” said Bosielo. He went on to emphasise that Huawei, “hosts its own jobs fair at the culmination of the Huawei ICT Academy programme, geared towards stimulating growth of ICT skills and promoting youth employment.”

SACETA president Wang Jijang thanked “the Chinese Embassy and the South African Government for supporting Chinese enterprises who are doing business in South Africa,” before expressing the hope that, “all job seekers may realise their dreams.”

Yanga Silo is one such dream-chaser, who described the job fair as “an eye-opener” in terms of learning more about different opportunities that are available.

“I am interested in working with Huawei. It seems like a great company because it has a great future ahead of it and it's developing with the times,” said Silo.

In closing, Zhigang echoed the words of former president Nelson Mandela who said, “a winner is a dreamer, who never gives up.” Zhigang urged every career seeker present to remember that “as long as you work hard and never give up, you'll be able to reach your dreams.”

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The latest African Wealth Report for 2024 shows that Johannesburg remains the wealthiest on the African continent.
The wealth report is published by international wealth advisory firm Henley & Partners in collaboration with global wealth intelligence partner New World Wealth.

The latest edition is the ninth published and is based on information as of December 2023.

High-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are defined in the report as individuals with “liquid, investable wealth” exceeding US$1 million (R19 million).

Centi-millionaires are worth US$100 million or more.

At city level, Johannesburg maintained its place as the wealthiest in Africa, with 12 300 millionaires, 25 centi-millionaires and two billionaires.

Cape Town followed closely behind in second place with 7 400 millionaires, 28 centi-millionaires and one billionaire.

The Cape Winelands was sixth, Durban and surrounding areas in seventh, the Garden Route eighth and Pretoria in 10th spot.

Meanwhile, despite a tough past decade, which saw a 20% decline in its millionaire population, South Africa remains home to over twice as many HNWIs as any other African country, with 37 400 millionaires, 102 centi-millionaires and five billionaires.

This is 400 fewer than the 37 800 recorded at the end of 2022 and down 11 300 from the 48 700 recorded at the end of 2013.

Egypt, with 15 600 millionaires, 52 centi-millionaires and seven billionaires, lies in second place, Nigeria sits in third place with 8 200 HNWIs, followed by Kenya (7 200 millionaires), Morocco (6 800), Mauritius (5 100), Algeria (2 800), Ethiopia (2 700), Ghana (2 700), and Namibia (2 300) all making it into the Top 10 Wealthiest Countries in Africa.

Africa’s “Big Five” wealth markets – South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, and Morocco – together account for 56% of the continent’s millionaires and over 90% of its billionaires.

As reported by The South African website, according to Forbes’ real-time tracking of billionaires, South Africa has six, not five.

According to the latest numbers at the time of publishing, Johann Rupert and family remain the richest in South Africa (and 197th in the world) with US$10.5 billion.

The University of Pretoria (UP) has awarded World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, an honorary doctorate in recognition of her outstanding contribution in Africa and beyond as a leader, global health expert, advocate and diplomat. This makes her the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Health Sciences at UP.
Dr Moeti is the first woman to be elected as WHO Regional Director for Africa. She has been wildly acknowledged for driving changes and a transformation agenda that has improved the WHO’s performance in a number of areas including emergencies, enhanced accountability and gains towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

“I am truly honoured to be awarded the honorary doctorate by the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria, and for being the first woman to be conferred the honorary doctoral degree by the faculty. I believe strongly in the power of education to transform lives,” Dr Moeti said.

“I congratulate the 2024 graduates on reaching this milestone. I am grateful to become an adopted family member of the University of Pretoria and hope that this moment serves as inspiration for young women forging a path in health in Africa.”

Among a long list of key achievements, Dr Moeti is renowned for having led WHO’s “3 by 5” Initiative in Africa at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, driving access to antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV, explained Professor Tiaan de Jager, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor in Environmental Health at the School of Health Systems and Public Health at UP.

“By empowering nurses to prescribe antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), her work helped to shift HIV from a death sentence to a chronic illness in Africa.”

Since taking up the reins as the WHO Regional Director for Africa in 2015, the organisation has achieved key milestones under Dr Moeti’s leadership. These include eradicating the poliovirus in 2020 – the second disease to be eradicated from the continent after smallpox 40 years ago – and increased investments in areas such as surveillance, training, innovation, community engagement and partnerships. The investments have improved countries’ capacity to prepare for and respond to the around 100 acute health emergencies that occur annually on the continent.

“This resulted in a faster, better coordinated and more effective response to outbreaks like Ebola. Dr Moeti has also led a robust response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Prof. de Jager added.

Dr Moeti, a medical doctor and public health expert with more than 40 years of national and international experience, obtained her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine of the University of London in 1978. Then in 1986, she obtained a Master of Science in Community Health for Developing Countries, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Before joining WHO in 1999, Dr Moeti worked with the Joint United Nations (UN) Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) as Team Leader of the Africa and Middle East Desk in Geneva, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as Regional Health Advisor for East and Southern Africa, and Botswana’s Ministry of Health as a clinician and public health specialist.

After joining WHO’s Africa Regional Office, she served as Deputy Regional Director, Assistant Regional Director, Director of Noncommunicable Diseases, WHO Representative for Malawi, Coordinator of the Inter-Country Support Team for the South and East African countries and Regional Advisor for HIV/AIDS, before being elected to the top WHO post on the continent.

“Dr Moeti is also a great champion for women in leadership in global health and has launched a partnership with the UN Volunteers programme to recruit 100 young women from the global South as the next generation of health leaders,” Prof. de Jager said.

“Under her leadership, WHO in Africa has additionally rolled out several interventions to improve leadership skills, build confidence, and empower women to take up significant roles.”

In recognition of her exceptional service to humanity, Dr Moeti has received accolades such as honorary fellowships from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, among others. She was also named a COVID-19 Heroine by the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Centre for Women and Development and most recently, she was honoured with membership of the United States National Academy of Medicine and was recognised for African health leadership on COVID-19 by AMREF Health Africa.

“For her sustained, outstanding, and life-changing contributions to the health of the people of Africa, it is a great honour and with great pleasure that we award Dr Matshidiso Moeti a honorary doctorate in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria.”

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Dr Wilhelm Lichtenberg, founder of Young Hearts Africa, has been honoured with the Every Heartbeat Matters Award for his exceptional work in providing life-saving surgeries to South African children with congenital heart disease.
Dr Wilhelm Lichtenberg, the visionary behind Young Hearts Africa, has been bestowed with the prestigious Thoracic Surgery Foundation Every Heartbeat Matters (EHM) Award.

This accolade celebrates the remarkable efforts of surgeons who extend their healing hands to underserved communities globally. Remarkably, among the 14 distinguished recipients worldwide, Dr Lichtenberg stands out as the sole African awardee.

Established just three years ago in 2021, Young Hearts Africa has already transformed the lives of 30 children grappling with congenital heart disease (CHD). Their collaboration with the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town has been instrumental in delivering these life-saving surgeries. Yet, the need remains pressing, with over 4 000 South African children born with CHD each year requiring surgical intervention to survive. Sadly, due to limited facilities, specialists, and high costs, less than 800 of these critical surgeries are performed in the public sector.

The EHM Award, sponsored by the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, not only recognises Dr Lichtenberg’s exceptional contributions but also comes with a US$23 000 grant. This generous funding injection will propel Young Hearts Africa’s mission to greater heights, enabling them to save even more young lives.

Reflecting on his experience at the recent Edwards Foundation EHM Partners Summit in California, Dr Lichtenberg shared his enthusiasm for the collaboration and knowledge-sharing opportunities.

“It was quite a remarkable experience to learn from people who have been in the humanitarian surgical outreach sphere for many years,” he remarked.

“The opportunities for collaboration are numerous and I engaged in encouraging discussions which I am excited to pursue.”

As a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Young Hearts Africa offers hope by rallying support and awareness to facilitate life-saving surgeries. Their ultimate aim extends beyond immediate intervention; they strive to empower affected children, their families and communities, paving the way for a brighter and more prosperous future. In addition to his groundbreaking work with Young Hearts Africa, Dr Lichtenberg is laying the groundwork for a cardiothoracic training facility in Cape Town. This ambitious initiative aims to address the significant physician-to-patient ratio imbalance and expand cardiology and cardiac surgery programmes across Africa.

The YHA Foundation boasts an illustrious patron in former Public Prosecutor Professor Thuli Madonsela and enjoys the support of passionate ambassadors, including Queen’s guitarist Sir Brian May, rugby icons Corne Krige and John Smit.

Looking ahead, Dr Lichtenberg remains committed to his mission. “Ambitious and innovative fundraising programmes are underway,” he affirms.

“The goal is to increase access to medical care for more children born with CHD while fostering research and training to bridge the skills gap. The one hand washes the other.”

In recognition of their ethical leadership and holistic approach, Young Hearts Africa was also honoured with the 2023 Conscious Companies Award. Dr Lichtenberg is set to share his insights at the upcoming Conscious Companies Leadership Summit in Johannesburg, contributing to discussions on guiding societies through uncertain times.

In celebrating Dr Wilhelm Lichtenberg and Young Hearts Africa, we are reminded of the profound impact that compassion, dedication and innovation can have on the lives of vulnerable children and their communities. Their unwavering commitment to healing hearts serves as an inspiring example for us all.

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Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) has done it again, clinching the title of Best Airport in Africa for the ninth year in a row, alongside Best Airport Staff Service in Africa for the fourth consecutive year. These prestigious awards come courtesy of the Skytrax World Airline and Airport Star Rating programme, known globally as the gold standard in airline and airport service quality awards.
The Western Cape, already famed for its wines, cuisine, incredible leisure, adventure tourism and exquisite natural beauty, has another feather in its cap thanks to this recognition.

“I am so proud of the team at CTIA. Awards like this are the result of hard work and dedication by everyone at the airport.

Congratulations! Tourism is a key enabler of jobs and opportunity and this world-class airport is the entry point for visitors to our province both domestically and abroad,” said Premier Alan Winde.

Celebrating this fantastic news, the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger congratulated the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) and CTIA saying, “Huge congratulations to ACSA and everyone at CTIA for keeping the winning streak alive. Your hard work and dedication shine through, and this epic achievement beautifully showcases our province’s vibrant and dynamic spirit.”

Minister Wenger went on to say that “As part of our 'Growth for Jobs' economic action plan, we are all about setting ambitious goals and making big dreams a reality. With plans to double our visitor numbers by 2035, these accolades from CTIA are not just wins; they're rocket fuel for our tourism and economic engines.”

“Here’s to ACSA and the airport staff at CTIA who make every journey to and from our airport a world-class experience, helping to boost tourism and therefore job creation in the Western Cape,” concluded Minister Wenger.

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Over 100 athletes, their supporters, events managers, staff and more will be heading to East London for the World Waveski Surfing Titles.
World Waveski Surfing Titles (WWST) proudly announces its strategic partnership with Buffalo City Tourism. This collaboration signifies a momentous milestone for both entities, uniting their commitment to adventure, culture and sporting excellence within Buffalo City.

WWST, set against the breathtaking backdrop of Nahoon Reef within the Nahoon Nature Reserve, promises to captivate audiences. Buffalo City Tourism’s involvement signifies the experience, ensuring that visitors from near and far discover the hidden gems of this unique coastline. With a rich historical and cultural heritage, Buffalo City serves as a gateway to Eastern Cape adventures. The partnership between WWST and Buffalo City Tourism brings a much-needed positive impact to the region and its surroundings.
“Buffalo City Tourism is thrilled to support the 2024 WWST,” says Nosisa Rubushe at Buffalo City Tourism.

“This partnership with WWST provides Buffalo City with brand exposure and enhances social cohesion. The event brings economic spin-offs and investment opportunities to the city, benefiting local businesses, tour guides, hotels, hawkers, security industry, B&Bs, shopping malls and filling stations” she further states.

From 28 June to 7 July 2024, over 100 athletes from 15 countries will converge on our shores, vying for the coveted title of World Champion. Sanctioned by the World Waveski Surfing Association, this biennial event promises high-flying action in big, powerful surf at the famous Nahoon Reef. But it’s not just for the pros; WWST will also host demo days, inviting children and adults to experience waveski surfing under the guidance of the world’s best.

On Tuesday, 9 April, the World Waveski Surfing Titles organisers hosted a strategic meeting with all stakeholders and government officials associated with executing this world championship event. The meeting, held at the East London Golf Club, proved fruitful, ensuring all parties are ready to welcome the world to Buffalo City this June.

“We’re excited to partner with Buffalo City Tourism,” shares event organiser Trystan Viaene. “Together, we’ll showcase East London and the greater metro to the world.”

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It took nine months of dedication. Miles of strength. A bit of stubbornness and a lot of heart. But Paul Edkins has successfully finished his mammoth cycle from the United Kingdom to South Africa.
What makes someone want to hit the pedals for such an overwhelming distance? For Paul Edkins, who was born in South Africa, the journey was inspired by a longing for home, a big push to escape his comfort zone and hope that he could raise awareness and support for South African superheroes and champions of anti-poaching efforts, The Black Mambas.

Beginning last year, Edkins’ days on the roads turned into weeks, and then nine entire months, as he and his wheels saw everywhere from Turkey to Egypt to Kenya and eventually South Africa.

While Edkins did not cycle the entire way (ferries and flights were necessary at times), he covered thousands of kilometres and collected thousands of memories.

There were many times when the odyssey was pure magic – an adventure of discovery, belonging and purpose. Edkins got to fall in love with new foods in Turkey (with a special mention of künefe, a Turkish desert). And he got to fall in love with the hospitality of people, including a Nubian family on an island in Aswan. He also got to relish in the awe of two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and experienced climbing Greece’s Mount Olympus.

And then there was scuba diving in Lake Malawi and seeing a family of elephants with five babies up close in the Maasai Mara. And drinking fresh mango, avocado, papaya and guava juice, African style.

And when he did get to visit the Olifants West Nature Reserve where the Black Mambas handle a lot of anti-poaching work, he was frozen, “heart in mouth”, at the beauty of what the all-female team protect. In a great update on the fundraising part of his story, he helped raise GBP£3,288 (over R77 000) for the incredible female protectors of nature.

But there were also many tough times along the way. Moments of isolation. Tiredness. Inner conflict. But messages of support from family and friends, stubbornness and a French cyclist’s advice to just keep going, were a few of the things that kept him going.

Of how he felt when he finally reached the final chapter, Edkins shared that he had mixed feelings.

“I adopted a new persona for nine months, and now it was over. I was happy and proud, but also without a purpose anymore. I was glad I could achieve my goal, and I’m going to carry that feeling of satisfaction forever. But I also had unanswered questions,” he tells Good Things Guy.

A big part of his journey had to do with identity. Being a South African who had been in the United Kingdom for 25 years, coming homeward was more than a nostalgic journey. Instead, it was something of a reclamation of a part of himself.

Beyond a powerful impact on his own life, Edkins hoped that he has brought about positive impact to the Black Mambas.

“I hope that they will be able to improve the technology they use, continue their good work in the park and the local community, and feel more like the world is supporting their cause.”

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Dr Esther Mahlangu has been awarded an honorary doctorate once again, this time for her gorgeous integration of math principles that have shaped her iconic art style.
The renowned artist, Dr Esther Mahlangu has been awarded another honorary doctorate, an achievement that further solidifies her status as a South African and global icon. Awarded by the University of South Africa (UNISA) earlier this week, Dr Mahlangu was recognised as a Doctor of Philosophy for the “art of math” in her work—a special honour for her unique integration of mathematical principles that have shaped her work.

As the university puts it:

“Mahlangu’s vibrant geometric patterns and intricate designs are not just visually stunning; they embody a profound understanding of symmetry, repetition and spatial relationships. The university acknowledged her work as a unique blend of artistic expression and mathematical brilliance. The recognition not only celebrates Mahlangu’s artistic legacy but also challenges traditional perspectives on the intersection of art and mathematics.”

Awarded by Professor Simi Dube, the Executive Dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Esther’s work was spotlighted as a “cultural blueprint” for the African art renaissance of the late twentieth century.

“Her intricately stylised designs and her ideogrammatic flatness continue to inspire young generations of artists and designers. For this reason, her artworks are integral to school and university curricula in South Africa and abroad.”- Prof. Simi Dube.

Dr Mahlangu’s honorary doctorate from the University of Johannesburg awarded in 2018, commended her legacy as a cultural entrepreneur who has skilfully negotiated local and global worlds and played a major role as an educator.

Hence, her story—from a young, creative girl who got told off for painting the house to becoming the first female and non-Western person ever to create one of the most famous art pieces around (the art car that put Ndebele art on the map)—is one that has cracked conventions and made many creatives believe that maybe they can too.

Those looking to dive deeper into her journey will be happy to know that a rich retrospective showcasing Esther’s artistic journey is currently on display. Then I Knew I Was Good at Painting, can be visited at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town until 11 August 2024.

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From a humble garage studio in Joburg to one of the music industry’s top recording facilities in Hollywood, Ciaran De Chaud has proven time and time again that risks, determination and feverish self-belief, are everything.
South African music producer/engineer, Ciaran De Chaud has made it impressively far in one of the most competitive industries. It’s no easy jump to go from a garage studio to turning into 1416 North La Brea Avenue Hollywood for work each day. This is also the historic location of Charlie Chaplin’s’ 1917 studio that today operates as Henson, one of the music industry’s top recording facilities, collaborating with artists like Taylor Swift, John Mayer and The Rolling Stones. But this young South African has taken the music bull by the horns and he’s only 27 years old.
De Chaud started out in a garage studio in Johannesburg, where the task was pitching music for commercials against industry veterans. It was far from an easy path, but thanks to his fervent talent and feverish determination, he landed many pitches against the giants and slowly started to build a strong reputation as a music producer.

Within a year, De Chaud had produced and engineered music for commercials for a range of major brands. His story-driven work for Gillette, the Nosizwe Commercial, in 2018 even became a cultural phenomenon that earned mention from President Cyril Ramaphosa.

As the path of proving himself became clear, something incredible happened. De Chaud ended up earning a scholarship at Berklee in Boston, the chance of a lifetime to broaden his career horizons. With his savings ready, he left for the States in 2019 — ready to take on new risks, experiences, and opportunities to share his sounds with the world.

This was a decision that would solidify his talent, as four years later, he was crowned the top student in the Music Production and Engineering Department and earned the Al Schmitt Award that recognises the most exceptional upcoming engineer. Later on, he went on to teach and mentor at Berklee College.

Outside of his studies, De Chaud has worked under many industry icons, including Grammy winners Prince Charles Alexander (Notorious B.I.G, P Diddy), Leanne Ungar (Leonard Cohen) and Susan Rogers (Prince).

He also copped the opportunity to work alongside multiple Grammy winner Larry Klein, known for his work with Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Tracy Chapman and many others. Together, the pair co-produced the debut album The Space Between with Norwegian artist Ingrid Saga.

Reflecting on De Chaud’s contribution, Saga shared: “Working with Ciaran is both serious digging for depths and pockets of meaning and just a great freaking hang. He helps shape my music into what it is becoming”.

De Chaud also stepped up as a recording engineer on Jon Ranes’ Loverboy, helping to shape the album that earned 8.8 million streams on Spotify.

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Another year of Coachella has started to become synonymous with another year of South African talents getting their shot to showcase on what is considered one of the world’s most famous stages. The latest local group who brought their magic to California’s famed festival was The Joy.
Hand-picked by none other than platinum-streaming artist Doja Cat (who also has South African roots) to perform alongside her, The Joy got to take the stage and accompany Doja Cat for her headline performance.

The vocal group lent their voices for two of her songs, Acknowledge Me and Shutcho; the latter reworked to include Zulu lyrics in a proudly South African twist.

Meet The Joy

Pastor (Ntokozo Bright Magcaba), Duzie (Melokuhle Mkhungo), Guduza (Sphelele Hlophe), Sthombe (Phelelani Sithole) and Marcus (Sanele Ngcobo) make up the five-piece group who have come an incredible way from their home township of Hammarsdale. They have been together since high school, where each one turned up to choir practice earlier than everyone else and began their first jam together.

Together, they went on to win first place in a municipality-wide singing contest, which snowballed into them earning global recognition and fans like Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson.

Indeed, something about their fresh take on the Zulu tradition of a cappella filled with infectious emotion has undoubtedly cast a spell on music lovers who feel they become part of The Joy when listening to their music, and South Africa couldn’t be prouder of their journey.

However, there’s more good news to look forward to from The Joy. Their opportunity at Coachella was accompanied by other big developments arriving on the heels of their recent single You Complete Me; and the buzz around their self-titled album, pencilled for 21 June 2024.

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South Africans have continued to wow the world with their talent, especially on the talent stages of America, Britain and quite a few more in Europe. The most recent is Innocent Masuku, who performed opera for the “Britain’s Got Talent” judges.
Innocent Masuku is a 33-year-old South African living in London. He was born in Secunda, Mpumalanga and is an operatic tenor. Innocent made his first public performance as Crabman in a production of Porgy and Bess set in Argentina.

He has since had many career highlights, including a Merit Award in the 2019 SAMRO competition and a Drake Calleja Trust Award. Innocent earned The Oppenheimer International Scholarship and The Countess of Munster Musical Trust Study Award for his talents, helping thrust him onto the international stage.

Innocent is currently part of the English National Opera, playing Count Almaviva in Barber of Seville.

For his Britain’s Got Talent audition, he gave a goosebumps performance of Lucio Dalla’s Casuro. Judge Amanda Holden called Innocent hands-down the best opera singer Britain’s Got Talent Judges have ever seen.

While he didn’t earn a Golden Buzzer, much to the dismay of viewers, he did earn four yes votes from this season’s judges.

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Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) congratulates HOT 102.7 FM for being honoured at the 2024 New York Festivals Radio Awards. The awards celebrate world-class storytellers from around the globe and honours creative innovation and excellence in broadcast and audio content across all genres and platforms.
HOT 102.7FM was awarded Bronze for the Best News Report/Feature: Human Interest Feature category for the Beginner’s Guide to Online Dating series. The news team was named a finalist in the same category and the breakfast show was honoured as a finalist in the Best Music/Personality Show category.

GCIS Acting Director-General, Nomonde Mnukwa, said, “We are thrilled to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the HOT 102.7FM team for being honoured at the prestigious New York Radio Awards. This is a testament to the quality of talent and capabilities that South Africa possess, of which we are very proud. Government supports media diversity that fosters inclusivity, creates a vibrant and thriving media landscape that is competitive on a global scale.”

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A window into the dark world of human trafficking opens with Lisa Becker’s “The Blue Door”, shedding light on the reality of human trafficking and toxic relationships. A harrowing tale of love, deception, and the realities of human trafficking has emerged from the pen of South African author Lisa Becker.
Lisa Becker, the Vice Chairperson of HUGE Sustainable Development Association and the CEO of Firelion Media, made a second tour stop for her book titled The Blue Door in Alexandra on 20 April 2024. The novel, inspired by real-life events, aims to bring light to the prevalence of trafficking and abusive relationships in modern society.

In the novel, Jessica Van Rooyen meets Dylan Armstrong in the bar where she works in London. After a few romantic dates and a couple of phone calls, she moves to El Paso, Texas. She soon finds out that nothing is like he promised, forcing her into a business suit. All the artistic flair in her soul is slowly snuffed out until she meets Benjamin. Jessica has nighttime dreams in real life, where she meets people and goes to places she envisages. Benjamin has a tea store with handmade items from around the world. Benjamin is a man of faith, believing God was giving her instructions at night. He guides her to discover what some of her dreams mean, leading her to the Texas border. There, her eyes are opened to the level of human trafficking that is going on.

When offered a shiny engagement ring and a state-of-the-art house, Jessica has to decide if she wants to marry a man who can provide her with all the easy living and luxuries of this world or a man who wants to challenge her to make a difference in the lives of many underprivileged children worldwide.

Through Becker’s depiction of Jessica’s transformation, readers are given a chilling portrayal of the world of human trafficking, where you can experience the fear, desperation and resilience of the women who become affected by this deadly web. Through Becker’s narrative of an abusive relationship, she wants to help spread the word concerning risks associated with toxic relationships and human trafficking.

“I wanted to create a story that would show women the red flags of a toxic relationship and also open the world’s eye to the human trafficking that is taking place every day right under their noses. This novel was written to inspire women to speak up. Women put up with subtle forms of emotional abuse until they lose themselves to please a man, thinking ‘If I dull my shine he will shine brighter’.”

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A group of Capetonian teenagers has emerged victorious in what can only be described as the Olympics for robotics.
Meet Texpand, the South African Champion High School Robotics team that recently clinched the top spot at the first Tech Challenge Robotics Competition in Houston, Texas.

Out of a staggering 7 900 teams from around the globe, only 224 made it to last week’s first championship. The competition was fierce, spanning multiple days of intense gameplay across four divisions. Despite facing teams with multi-million-rand budgets, Texpand, fuelled by a handful of dedicated sponsors and sheer determination, rose to the occasion.

In a remarkable turn of events, two top international teams handpicked Texpand to form an alliance for the final rounds. Together with “A. I. Citizens” from Romania and “The Clueless” from the United States, they defied the odds and clinched the coveted title, cementing their status as world champs and a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.
Last year, Texpand was crowned South African FTC robotics champions and became the first African team to win the prestigious Think Award, which celebrates excellence in engineering thinking and process. Now, they’ve done it again, reinforcing their reputation as trailblazers in the world of robotics.

For Texpand, the journey is about more than just winning. As they put it, “FTC is more than a game – it is about growing in and expanding STEM skills – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.”

The team members, aged between 14 and 17, have honed their skills in physics, coding, applied mathematics, 3D design, sensor integration and more. What’s truly inspiring is their commitment to giving back to their community. They’ve shared their knowledge with over 500 young minds in Cape Town, mentored 35 emerging FTC teams worldwide, and launched eight new robotics teams.

They aim to inspire and train the next generation of South African STEM enthusiasts and robotics aficionados. When Texpand touches down at Cape Town International Airport, they won’t just be bringing back memories and experiences. They’ll be proudly holding aloft a World Champion Trophy, a symbol of their hard work, dedication and the limitless potential of South African youth.

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South Africa’s top athletes shine at national championships, securing Olympic spots and showcasing the nation’s rising athletics talent.
The South African Senior Track and Field Championships, held in Pietermaritzburg from 20 to 23 April 2024, showcased the nation’s rising athletics talent, with several athletes securing their spots for the upcoming Paris Olympics.

The event witnessed intense competition across various disciplines, as established stars and up-and-coming athletes battled for supremacy.

In a thrilling 200m final, 20-year-old Benjamin Richardson announced his arrival on the big stage by outsprinting Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk.

Richardson’s time of 20.16 seconds met the Olympic qualifying standard, setting the stage for an exciting showdown in Paris. Van Niekerk, who had already qualified for the Olympics in the 400m, finished second in 20.31 seconds.

The men’s 100m final also featured a rising star in 18-year-old Bayanda Walaza, who finished second behind seasoned campaigner Akani Simbine.

Walaza’s time of 10.27 seconds highlighted his immense potential and marked him as one to watch in the coming years. Simbine, who had already met the Olympic qualifying standard, won the race in 10.01 seconds.

The championships saw several athletes secure their spots in Paris in the middle-distance events. Lythe Pillay and Zakithi Nene both dipped under the 45-second mark in the 400m final, with Pillay taking the title in an impressive 44.31 seconds.

Nene, who had already qualified for the Olympics earlier in the season, finished second in 44.80 seconds. In the women’s 400m hurdles, Zenéy Geldenhuys and Rogail Joseph also met the Olympic qualifying standard.

Geldenhuys took the title in 54.72 seconds, with Joseph close behind in 54.84 seconds, just inside the qualifying mark of 54.85 seconds.

South Africa’s relay teams demonstrated their potential, with Athletics South Africa (ASA) committing to intensive preparation ahead of major international competitions.

The men’s 4x100m, 4x400m, and the mixed 4x400m teams have all provisionally qualified for the world relays, boding well for their Olympic prospects.

The teams have participated in training camps and competed in the ASA Grand Prix Series in March, as well as the national championships.

Athletics Gauteng North dominated the medal table, securing an impressive haul of 62 medals, including 26 gold, 18 silver, and 18 bronze. Boland, Central North West, Central Gauteng, and Western Province also put in strong performances, rounding out the top five provinces.

Team South Africa’s Olympic qualifiers

Apart from the recorded qualifying marks at Msunduzi Stadium, several other athletes have already secured their spots in Team SA’s athletics squad for the Paris Olympics. These include:
  • Luxolo Adams (200m)
  • Prudence Sekgodiso (800m)
  • Tshepo Tshite (1,500m)
  • Adriaan Wildschutt (5,000m)
  • Marioné Fourie (100m hurdles)
  • Jovan van Vuuren (long jump).
In the marathon event, Stephen Mokoka, Gerda Steyn and Irvette van Zyl have also booked their tickets to Paris.

Road to Paris 2024

With the Paris Olympics just months away, the SA Athletics Championships provided a platform for the nation’s top athletes to test their form and secure qualifying marks. As the qualifying window remains open until 30 June, more athletes will be looking to book their spots on Team SA.

The championships also highlighted the depth of talent in South African athletics, with a mix of established stars and rising youngsters showcasing their abilities.

While the likes of Van Niekerk, Simbine and Sekgodiso have already qualified for the Olympics, the emergence of young talents such as Richardson and Walaza bodes well for the future of the sport in the country.

As the countdown to Paris continues, South Africa’s track and field athletes will be aiming to make their mark on the global stage, building on the successes and lessons learned from the national championships in Pietermaritzburg.

Brandon Valjalo made history for South Africa at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and now he is once again preparing for the global stage and Paris.
Valjalo is a South African skateboarder who made history by competing in the first-ever Olympic skateboarding competition in Tokyo in 2020. Now, he’s using those epic lessons to launch himself towards glory as he prepares to represent his country at a global level. He is known for his innovative and technical tricks, his dedication to the sport and his ability to inspire young shredders around the world.

Valjalo reminisces about his time in Tokyo, saying, “Some of the most memorable moments include representing South Africa at the debut event for skateboarding at the global stage.” He shares another interesting memory, saying, “I broke my wrist in two places during a practice session just two days before the competition. Nonetheless, I was in such a mentally strong place at the time that breaking my wrist couldn’t have stopped me from competing for the African skateboarding community.”

The South African skate scene has been Valjalo’s constant source of fuel.

“The support from my fellow South Africans is what makes the journey that much more worth it,” he says. “Inspiring the next generation is something that keeps me really motivated because they are the future stars that are going to be holding it down for the South African flag.”
Paris will be a different beast than Tokyo as no spectators were allowed during the 2020 global games due to COVID-19. This time, a live audience will be there to crank the energy, but Valjalo’s got his composure dialled in from his previous experience, and he’s ready to leverage that mental edge to conquer Paris.

“I have a couple of new tricks up my sleeve. You guys are just going to have to wait and see,” Valjalo teases with a wink.

The road to the global stage won’t be as effortless as a drop-in though. Skateboarding pushes your body and mind to the limit. Valjalo’s got a plan to conquer those challenges with cross-training, PT sessions, and a mental performance coach on his side.

“The key is to have fun out there,” says Valjalo. “Once the competition is over, the enjoyment and pride of representing your country come from all the support that everybody shows.”

Valjalo’s dedication to his sport and his passion for inspiring others are pure world champion spirit. As he embarks on his journey to Paris, his message to his fans is clear: “Fulfil the dream, trust the process and enjoy every moment.”

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