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President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid homage to the South African citizens and others who received their National Orders, calling them an invaluable part of South Africa’s history.
The 32 recipients, some posthumously, were honoured and bestowed during a ceremony held at the Sefako M. Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Tshwane on Tuesday, 30 April 2024.

The prestigious National Orders — the highest awards in South Africa — are 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.

“This year marks 30 years since we attained our freedom. This would not have been possible without the bravery, fortitude and noble acts of those whom the preamble of our Constitution recognises as having suffered for justice and freedom in our land.

“The men and women we honour here today have played an invaluable role in giving birth to the free South Africa that we all enjoy today. Our nation owes each of them a great debt.

“By bestowing these National Orders, we want to ensure that their contributions are recognised and spoken of by generations to come,” President Ramaphosa said.

The awards

The Order of Mendi for Bravery recipients were anti-apartheid activists who received the honour posthumously.

“They lived at a time when apartheid repression was at its zenith and they displayed the utmost courage. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten and their memories live on,” said President Ramaphosa.

This year, the recipients of The Order of Luthuli was awarded to South Africans who contributed to “the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice and peace”.

“Several of the recipients of this year’s Order of Luthuli were brutally killed by the apartheid regime. One of them was Ms Nokuthula Simelane, who was abducted and tortured by the apartheid security branch. Her remains were never found.

“This is a wound that will never heal for her family, like the scars of many other South Africans whose loved ones disappeared during the repressive years of apartheid. By honouring those fallen heroes with National Orders we are saying that no matter how great the passage of time, they have not been forgotten,” President Ramaphosa said.

South Africans who excelled in the arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport were honoured with The Order of Ikhamanga.

“In this, the 30th year since we achieved our freedom, we also celebrate the democratic gains we have made in enshrining the principle of a free and independent media.

“Among those being honoured today are legendary journalists who were the voice, words and conscience of an oppressed people during the darkest periods in our history. The standard they set for media ethics and freedom are embodied in today’s generation of journalists and media workers,” the President said.

On the recipients of The Order of the Baobab, President Ramaphosa said: “As we strive to bring about social and economic transformation in South Africa, we are keenly aware of the importance of every endeavour, be it in business, science or in innovation, being put in the service of social justice for all”.

He praised the recipient of The Order of Mapungubwe who “undertook valuable research in the aerospace field and set a standard that today’s generation of researchers will strive to emulate for time to come”.

The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo recognises those who are not from South Africa who stood in solidarity and cooperation with South Africa’s struggle for liberation.

“We honour journalists who helped amplify the voice of the liberation movement abroad, campaigners and fundraisers for the anti-apartheid movement, and activists who played an important role in the sports boycott against the regime,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President hailed the heroism and personal endeavours of this year’s recipients.

“The recipients of the National Orders are chosen by the South African people themselves. It is the South African people who makes nominations for consideration. This is most appropriate because the recipients are the heroes and heroines of the entire nation.

“The truest test of heroism is that these acts are not done for the sake of name, prestige, fortune or fame. They are done out of conscience and an unwavering sense of responsibility. They are born of a burning quest for social justice. They are anchored in the belief that the achievement of equality and human dignity for all is the highest aspiration of humankind.

“Congratulations to all who are being honoured today and to their families. The recipients shall henceforth be honoured as esteemed Members of the Orders. The people of South Africa salute them all,” President Ramaphosa said.

– Source:
While South Africa’s democracy is young, the significant strides made by government to improve the lives of its people since 1994, cannot be denied.
Marking the historic milestone of reaching 30 years of democracy, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africans should not let detractors, whether they are abroad or in the country, diminish what government has achieved in 1994 and in the years that had followed.

“Over the course of three centuries, the dignity of the black inhabitants of this land had been deliberately and cruelly denied, first by colonialism and then by apartheid. Millions of black South Africans – African, coloured and Indian – were at the mercy of laws and practices that were enforced to serve the interests of a white minority.

“Their land was taken, their labour was exploited, their prospects were stunted,” the President said on Saturday, 27 April 2024 in Pretoria.

On 27 April 1994, South Africa changed forever as millions of people went to the polls to cast their vote in the first democratic elections.

“Exactly thirty years ago on this day, freedom’s bell rang across our great land. On that day, as we cast our votes for the first time, a great heaviness lifted from our shoulders. Our shackles had been cast off. The weight of centuries of oppression was no longer holding us down,” the President said at the commemoration of Freedom Day held at the Union Buildings.

Thirty years later, the people of South Africa gathered as a united people of all races at the same Union Buildings that once symbolised pain and oppression.

“The progress that has been made in a relatively short period of thirty years is something of which we can and should all be proud. We have established a society founded on the rule of law and the premise of equality before the law.

“We have built democratic institutions and have rid our statute books of racist and sexist apartheid laws. As the democratic state, we have worked to restore the dignity of all the South African people, particularly the dispossessed, the marginalised and the vulnerable,” the President said.

To achieve this, government had sought to implement policies and programmes that advanced equality and human dignity in areas like economic empowerment, education, health care, social support and the provision of basic services.

Addressing challenges

“Although there have been setbacks, although we have faced challenges both beyond our borders and at home, our economy has tripled in size since 1994. While unemployment still remains our greatest and most pressing challenge, the number of South Africans in employment increased from eight million in 1994 to over 16.7 million now.

“Through affirmative action, broad-based black economic empowerment, worker share ownership programmes and progressive labour laws, we have brought about transformative change in South Africa’s boardrooms, in workplaces and on the shop floor,” the President said.

In South Africa today, more than half a million workers are part-owners of the companies they work for. This is about one in every 20 workers in the formal private sector.

“The proportion of black people in senior management position in both government and business has increased many times over. Today, our social development system benefits all, providing vital support to the poor and vulnerable, women and children.

“The democratic state has, through its health care programmes, brought down child mortality, improved life expectancy and made important strides towards overcoming the HIV/Aids pandemic. Working together, we have opened the doors of learning and culture.

“We have invested in improving and building new schools, colleges and two new universities. We have vastly increased the number of matriculants, graduates and young skilled people. Although we have much further to go, we have worked to ensure that poverty is no barrier to a decent education,” the President said.

Government has also introduced no-fee schools and the school feeding programme. In addition, it has expanded funding to students from poor and working class families and are now focused on early childhood development.


“In South Africa today, our Bill of Rights is the foundation for a society rooted in equality regardless of race, gender, sex or sexual orientation. Women in South Africa today enjoy full equality before the law.

“As a society, we have made significant advances in giving effect to the rights of women. We have worked together to ensure that women are empowered in the home, in communities, in society and in the economy. [Women] have fought for equal representation in positions of responsibility in the state, in academia, in business, in sport, in culture,” the President said.

Close to half of the members of Parliament, judges and magistrates are women. More than 60% of public servants are women.

“In South Africa today, girls learn alongside boys in our primary and secondary schools and receive equal education. South Africa is a beacon of hope for the protections it affords to the LGBTQI+ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and intersex] community. Although we have much further to go, we have worked to overcome prejudice throughout society.

“We have sought to affirm the rights and improve the circumstances of persons with disabilities. We are still working to remove the barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from realising their full potential and living lives of comfort, security and material well-being,” he said.


Since the advent of democracy, government has pursued land reform, distributing millions of hectares of land to those who had been forcibly dispossessed and providing security of tenure to many others who had lived on the land for generations.

“We have built houses, clinics, hospitals, roads and bridges. We have brought electricity, water and sanitation into millions of homes.

“All those who cast their vote for a better South Africa in 1994 laid the foundation for a democracy that enhanced South Africa’s standing in the international community and opened up opportunities for engagement and cooperation,” the President said.

As a democratic country, the new South Africa was able to build alliances, negotiate trade agreements and participate in international organisations to advance the interests of its people.

Various sectors of society attended the celebrations including musicians Yvonne Chaka Chaka, PJ Powers as well as Ministers and Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi. Premier Lesufi joined the President in dancing to the tunes of Grammy Award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo who entertained the crowd at the festivities.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on black business and black industrialists to be part of efforts to rebuild the country’s economy.
President Ramaphosa made the call at the Black Business Council (BBC) gala dinner held in Johannesburg on Tuesday night, 30 April 2024.

He warned that without investment, there can be no jobs and without job creation on a large scale, “our prospects for achieving full economic transformation are diminished”.

“By strategically investing in the economy, we are laying the groundwork for prosperity, connectivity and opportunity across our nation. Green industrialisation is an area of opportunity for black business,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President said government is prioritising the production of electric vehicles, green hydrogen production and the processing of critical minerals essential for the battery value chain.

In February 2024, the President announced a comprehensive set of incentives designed to spur investment in these critical sectors, which will be rolled out over a 10-year period.
The incentives will stimulate innovation, attract private capital and accelerate the adoption of green technologies, ensuring a just and equitable transition towards a sustainable future.

By embracing green industrialisation and promoting a just transition, the President said government is not only safeguarding the country’s environment but also fostering economic resilience and creating new opportunities for the workforce.

The President said that as part of government’s commitment to fostering economic inclusion and levelling the playing field, the Competition Commission will continue to embark on market inquiries across the economy.

“These inquiries are aimed at addressing high levels of economic concentration and encouraging greater participation by small businesses. By identifying barriers to entry and promoting fair competition, we will create opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs to thrive and contribute to our economy.

“These initiatives underscore our dedication to promoting economic empowerment, fostering entrepreneurship and creating a more inclusive and equitable economy,” President Ramaphosa said.

He noted that over the past 30 years, South Africa has undergone deep, fundamental and irreversible change.

Black business has been a valued partner along this journey and he said he has no doubt it will continue to be so for time to come.

He noted that government’s relationship with the Black Business Council has deepened since the sixth administration took office in 2019. “I think I can say with confidence that it is also stronger,” he added.

President Ramaphosa commended the council for responding to the call he made during his inauguration speech five years ago for all South Africans to join government in setting its sights high on a future of growth and economic opportunity.

“You have rallied both with us and around us as government in what has been a turbulent period marked by a global pandemic, civil unrest, natural disasters, crises in energy and logistics and slow economic growth that has been further exacerbated by all the aforementioned challenges.

“We also know that as the sixth administration took office, we were also confronted with the task of rebuilding capacity in key state institutions practically from the ground up, following the devastating years of state capture,” the President said.

What has been immensely encouraging is that the door of engagement has always remained open, he said, adding that engagements have been productive and have always taken place in a positive spirit of partnership.

“As we look to the future with optimism, let us continue to work together on this journey towards a fully transformed economy where no one is left behind,” President Ramaphosa said.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to revered black business pioneer, Dr Sam Motsuenyane, who has died at the age of 97.
Motsuenyane was the co-founder of the pivotal National African Federated Chamber of Commerce (NAFCOC) and played a leading role in the establishment of African Bank, both at the height of apartheid.

“The passing of Dr Sam Motsuenyane 60 years after the establishment of NAFCOC is a profound reminder of the breadth, durability and longevity of his vision and passion for self-reliance and development.

“The remarkable sweep of his life as an entrepreneur, leader of organised business, parliamentarian and diplomat among other roles embodied our resilient national character and values of Ubuntu.

“His philosophy of self-sufficiency is today entrenched in the constitutional right each of us enjoys to freely choose our trade, occupation or profession and in the socio-economic rights that our constitution safeguards,” the President said in a statement on Tuesday, 30 April 2024.
The businessman was a Member of Parliament and served as South Africa’s first ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He was also an Esteemed Member of the National Order of the Baobab (Gold) in recognition of his significant personal achievements.

The President passed his condolences and those of government to Motsuenyane’s family, friends and associates.

“Dr Motsuenyane’s passing on the eve of the 2024 National Orders Ceremony [to be held on Tuesday] causes us to recall the honour bestowed on him in 2002 as the nation paid tribute to an outstanding patriot and source of inspiration for our then fledgling democracy.

“May his soul rest in peace,” President Ramaphosa said.

– Source:
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, will undertake an Official Visit to Denmark to participate in the 2024 Nordic-African Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, scheduled to take place from 2 to 3 May 2024, in Copenhagen.
The two-day annual meeting will be held under the theme Multilateralism and Increasing Trade and Investment.

Several African Ministers of Foreign Affairs or their representatives have confirmed their participation.

The Nordic-Africa Foreign Ministers Meeting was established in 2000 with engagements between five Nordic countries and 10 African countries. Its objective was to emphasise the political importance of Africa and to demonstrate that Africa-Nordic relations went beyond development cooperation.

The meeting provides an opportunity for African countries to exchange notes with countries of the North on key global issues and developments. It also serves as a developing mechanism for improving trade and investment between African and Nordic countries.

The Nordic-African Foreign Ministers Meeting will include two closed plenary sessions, one on Partnerships in the African Century and the second plenary on Global Governance and International Financial Architecture.

In addition, the meeting will have two sessions of separate roundtables, each co-chaired by the ministers from Africa and Nordic countries to discuss the topic Peace and Security will take place.

Also included in the programme are two panel sessions:
  • Africa-Nordic Youth Panel which will discuss the theme, Youth and Economic Partnerships. Five youth representatives will be joined by two foreign ministers (one from Africa and one from the Nordic).
  • Africa-Nordic Research Policy Roundtable, which will discuss Economic Partnerships in an Age of Complexity: Sustaining Peace and Fostering Prosperity through Africa-Nordic cooperation.
The Nordic-Africa Business Meeting, aimed at exploring opportunities to strengthen trade and investments between African and Nordic countries, is on Friday, 3 May 2024.

Three panel discussions, comprising African and Nordic Foreign Ministers as well as African and Nordic country trade representatives and business organisations will be held during the business meeting. The three panels are as follow:
  • High-level session on increased cooperation and trade
  • High-level session on green transition and digitisation
  • High-level session on food value chains.
Minister Pandor will use the opportunity to also have bilateral discussions with some of her counterparts both from the Nordic and African countries.

– Source:
A then 10-year-old Ronald Lamola watched with joy as his parents went to cast their votes in South Africa’s first democratic elections in April 1994.
“I also saw on the television long queues of people ushering in our new freedom when they were voting,” Minister Lamola said on Saturday, 27 April 2024.

Fast-forward to today and Ronald Lamola is South Africa’s Minister of Justice and Correctional Services.

The Minister’s comments came as hundreds of people gathered at the Union Buildings in Pretoria to celebrate the 30th anniversary of South Africa’s democratic dispensation following the country’s first democratic elections on 27 April 1994.

President Cyril Ramaphosa led the National Freedom Day celebrations at the Union Buildings under the theme 30 Years of Democracy, Partnership and Growth.

Reflecting on growing up in apartheid South Africa, which oppressed the majority of its population at the time, the Minister said that as a young boy who grew up on a farm in Komatipoort in the then Eastern Transvaal, today is known as Mpumalanga province, he could not attend the same schools as the white children on the farm.

“We could not play or have the same dreams of being engineers, astronauts or lawyers. Today, I stand before you as an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) graduate of the University of Venda who was funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Our country’s biggest breakout of generational poverty.

"I speak with conviction when I say I am a Tintswalo. Every household in this country has a Tintswalo. Freedom made the dreams of many black kids like me possible to be whoever we wanted to be. [Whether it be] engineers, astronauts, etc which was not possible under apartheid,” the Minister said.

First referred to by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in February, Tintswalo is a child born at the dawn of freedom in 1994. Tintswalo grew up in a society that was worlds apart from the South Africa of her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

As a child who went to university in a democratic South Africa, the Minister completed his studies with the assistance of the NSFAS which provides financial aid to South African students using funds provided mainly by the government.

“Freedom made it possible for many black kids like me to be whoever we wanted to be. The sky is the limit. Freedom came through the blood and sweat of our struggle heroes. On this day, 30 years ago, a new dawn was ushered in through the first democratic elections. Some of the freedoms that we take for granted today were reserved for only white people before 1994," the Minister explained.

Nation building

He said nation building was at the core of the vision and a central piece to the democratisation of South Africa.

"This was reaffirmed by our 1996 Constitution, which is the supreme law of our country that affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.

“It placed on the state the obligation to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights that are enshrined within our Bill of Rights. We moved from parliamentary sovereignty to a constitutional democracy.

“We now have the freedom to love whoever we want to love. We now have the freedom to go wherever we want to go. We now have the freedom to study whatever we want to study and we now have the freedom of trade.”

He said these freedoms came at a “sacrifice”.

“As a country, we have a responsibility to continue to fight against injustice anywhere in the world.”

While the country had previously been under 300 years of colonial rule, government has laid a solid foundation to build a better life for all.

With South Africa due to hold its seventh democratic elections on 29 May 2024, Minister Lamola has encouraged citizens to exercise their democratic right to vote.

“In our country, our appreciation for freedom has seen growth in our electoral participation and uncensored voices, space for civil society has been maintained and should be commended as progress.”

“[However,] we must ensure [to exercise our right to freedom of speech] with responsibility. We should ensure that the polls that are coming now are credible, non-partisan and aimed at enhancing our democracy.

“Democratic participation should therefore be embraced and enforced by all citizens, we must all go and vote on 29 May to build on our transformatory journey and to build on our freedom.”

This year's Freedom Month celebrations hold special significance as they also coincide with the 28th anniversary of the enactment of the South African Constitution as the supreme law of the land.

"With this freedom, the 1996 constitution envisaged a country that is sovereign, a democratic state that is guided by principles of constitutionalism, the rule of law, democracy and accountability, separation of powers and checks and balances [as well as] cooperative governance," the Minister said.

– Source:
Twenty-two female Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) engineering students are set to participate in a solar panel manufacturing learning programme in India.
The Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in partnership with the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA), briefed the media on the women’s participation in the programme on Friday, 26 April 2024.

The 22 TVET college engineering students hail from the Limpopo, North West and Free State provinces.

“Emanating from the 2023 South Africa Chairship of BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa], the Solar Technology Training Programme for women in South Africa is one of the resolutions from the BRICS Women in Business meeting that calls for women to lead community initiatives and take part in resolving the energy crisis in South Africa particularly in rural areas,” said the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) in a statement.

“Access to electricity should always be easily available given the important role it plays in many aspects of human health and wellbeing. It is an essential service and governments must make societies function better through the provision of this kind of basic [service],” said Minister Dlamini Zuma.

The programme is expected to provide theoretical and practical skills in solar panel manufacturing and installation.

The learnership programme is supported by key stakeholders such as the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, the EWSETA, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

The DWYPD said that starting and operating a solar business in South Africa with solar products, from panels and batteries to solar-powered appliances, can be a lucrative venture.

“The DWYPD in partnership with the EWSETA will continue to engage stakeholders such as the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and the Department of Small Business Development to open windows of opportunities for the female learners to venture into business when they return to South Africa in August,” said the department.

The programme started on 1 May 2024.

– Source:

With South Africa commemorating Freedom Day on Saturday, 27 April 2024, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) has highlighted the importance of individuals being able to express themselves in languages they understand.
“Today, as we celebrate this remarkable milestone, it is essential to recognise that for democracy to flourish, linguistic diversity must be valued as a reliable guide towards the future. Engaging people in a language they understand is critical for genuine participation in democracy,” Chief Executive Officer of the PanSALB, Lance Schultz said on Saturday, 27 April 2024.

On 27 April 1994, South Africa changed forever as millions of people went to the polls to cast their vote in the first democratic elections.

Schultz’s comments came as President Cyril Ramaphosa led the 2024 Freedom Day national celebrations at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

“As we mark three decades since the transition from apartheid to democracy, it is worth celebrating the incredible progress we’ve made in recognising and promoting linguistic diversity,” said the CEO.

He added that South Africa’s expansion from two official languages during the apartheid era to 12 in the new dispensation is a restatement to the great strides that have been made in safeguarding language rights.

“There is no doubt that one of the key aspects of democracy is engaging and communicating with people in languages that they understand and for the past 30 years, the right to use one’s own language has been protected,” said Schultz.

The PanSALB is entrusted with the Constitutional responsibility to ensure that all official languages enjoy priority of esteem and elevate the status of indigenous languages to be recognised as languages of science, technology, and business.

“Furthermore, it is PanSALB’s duty, within the socio-political system of South Africa, to promote greater democratic participation by creating an environment where people engage in discussions over linguistic authority, knowledge production and self-determination through their use of language.”

Celebrated Under the theme 30 Years of Democracy, Partnership, and Growth, this year's Freedom Month celebrations hold special significance as they also coincide with the 28th anniversary of the enactment of the South African Constitution as the supreme law of the land.

– Source:
Eastern Cape Province Premier, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane together with the Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC, Nonkqubela Pieters, announced a new cannabis investor at the Coega SEZ on Monday, 29 April 2024.
This landmark investment is the culmination of work done by the Eastern Cape provincial government to promote the province as the cannabis industrial hub as pronounced by Premier Mabuyane in his 2019 state of the province address.

Provincial government’s ongoing trade and investment promotion programmes netted Medigrow Company, one of the leading companies in the cannabis sector, to invest in the Eastern Cape Province.
Established in 2017, the Medigrow Company has established 14 medicinal cannabis cultivating farms across South Africa. For their Eastern Cape operations, they have signed a facility lease agreement with the Coega SEZ to establish indoor medicinal cannabis grow, processing and packaging, cigarette manufacturing and isolate extraction business operations destined for the export market.

During the announcement of this new investor, government and Medigrow announced their financial investment in this cannabis and hemp development, available opportunities for farmers, research and development programmes to be rolled out as part of this new investment.

– Source:
South Africa’s loyalty sector triumphed at the International Loyalty Awards in Dubai for the second year in a row. A total of eight awards were successfully secured by South African brands and six out of 24 categories were won by South African loyalty programmes.
The International Loyalty Awards are considered the pinnacle of recognition for consumer loyalty programmes and pay tribute to the brands building lasting, profitable customer relationships. Established 12 years ago, the global competition brings together leaders in loyalty from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Americas to celebrate innovation and creativity.

TFG Rewards, TFG Africa won two awards for the prestigious recognition of Loyalty Redefined and Best Use of Technology.
The Shoprite Group Xtra Savings programme also received two awards for Best Regional Loyalty Programme in Africa and Best Loyalty Initiative for its Xtra Savings Plus programme.

FNB’s eBucks and African Bank Audacious Rewards both received one accolade for Best Loyalty Programme in Financial Services and Best Short-Term Initiative, respectively.

There were two South African individuals recognised for their contribution to loyalty in a global list, known as 30 under 40.

Ros Netto from Virgin Active and Carla Cloete from Old Mutual Rewards are to be included in the global list. This follows last year’s individual recognition awarded to Amanda Cromhout, CEO of Truth, the loyalty specialist consultancy, as International Loyalty Personality of the Year 2023. Cromhout personally handed over this honour to Zsuzsa Kecsmar, founder of Antavo Loyalty Cloud, for 2024.

Following the enormous success of South African brands at the awards ceremony, Cromhout says: “South African loyalty brands led the global landscape of loyalty excellence. We can stand proud as our industry receives powerful recognition at the most prestigious loyalty awards globally. I’m often asked how the South African market stacks up against the rest of the world. Simply put, it excels and leads the way.”

– Source:
South African Airways (SAA) has recommenced direct scheduled flights between Johannesburg and Perth in Western Australia after a four-year hiatus.
The inaugural flight, SA 280, operated by an Airbus A 340-300 aircraft, took off at 21:26 on 28 April 2024. Passengers flying on the relaunched Perth service were treated to some festivities at check-in.

This is good news for South Africans with family members in Perth or for Perth’s South African expats wishing to visit South Africa.

SAA has reintroduced year-round direct flights between Johannesburg’s OR Tambo Airport and Perth. This service is convenient for South Africans and indeed all travellers flying between the cities. Moreover, the restarted route comes after a lengthy absence of direct flights between the two cities
South African Airways ceased all scheduled flights in March 2020, at the onset of the national lockdown. Nonetheless, after exiting business rescue, the airline restarted scheduled flights on a handful of domestic and regional African routes

South African Airways was the only carrier operating scheduled services to Perth before it terminated all flights in March 2020.

However, Australia’s flag carrier, Qantas, restarted flights between Sydney and Johannesburg.

The Perth route is the second relaunched intercontinental route for South African Airways.

Last year the airline resumed flights to Sao Paulo in Brazil, from both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Chair of the airline’s board of directors, Derek Hanekom said that these flights are already proving profitable. Furthermore, Hanekom said that flights to Perth were also ‘looking good’ in a televised interview.

The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) is also proud to see the restart of the Perth route. ACSA’s CEO, Mpumi Mpofu, is pleased with the resumed route between Johannesburg and Perth.

Mpofu added that collaboration is key. ACSA supports South African Airways’ return to profitable routes.

– Source:
Red Carnation Hotels, a South African family-owned hotel collection, has announced the opening of its latest masterpiece and first property in Scotland, 100 Princes Street.
Heralding the start of a new era at its storied Edinburgh address, this boutique hotel is poised to become a beloved destination providing an exclusive, intimate and authentic Scottish experience.

Inspired by the adventures of the Scottish explorers who frequented the building as the former headquarters of the Royal Overseas League, 100 Princes Street is an exquisitely curated property that promises a journey into Scotland’s rich cultural, historic and nautical legacy.

The hotel’s enviable location, a stone’s throw from Scotland’s National Gallery and directly facing Edinburgh Castle, positions it as a unique vantage point for both discerning travellers and culture-seekers.

It features 30 beautifully appointed ensuite rooms and suites; “The Wallace”, a plush dining room, bar and lounge offering hearty, local fare and an expertly selected list of craft cocktails; and “Ghillie’s Pantry”, an elegant private dining room offering over one hundred whiskies and custom tasting menus.

A collection of distinctive Scottish experiences, created exclusively for guests of the property, further enhances the “anything, anytime” ethos for which Red Carnation is renowned.

100 Princes Street exudes the feeling of a private residents’ club with its 30 rooms and suites each individually designed with exceptional attention to detail and testament to the hotel’s rich heritage and its connections to historical figures.

While the Tollman family has focused on protecting the architectural heritage of the building and lovingly restoring its original features, a wealth of 21st-century luxuries have been added for its discerning guests, delivering every creature comfort.

Looking directly at Edinburgh Castle and helmed by the hotel’s talented South African chef, Willhelm Maree, the gastronomic heart of 100 Princes Street is undoubtedly The Wallace.

Hotel guests are invited to indulge in rare Scottish whisky tastings, refined afternoon teas and a menu that pays tribute to the richness of Scotland’s local produce.

President and founder Beatrice Tollman built Red Carnation Hotels with a vision for service excellence and a passion for generous hospitality. Red Carnation’s history began when Solomon Tollman opened a small hotel in Paternoster (a small fishing village in South Africa).

Driven by Beatrice’s lifelong affair with the world of hospitality, and celebrating her husband’s signature flower, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection came to life.

Today, the collection proudly stands at 17 properties around the world, each unique and special, while sharing the founding values that define the family-owned and run business.

The red carnation symbol of hospitality is also worn by every member of the team.

“At the heart of the Red Carnation Collection is our people and their passion and commitment to creating memorable guest experiences” – Beatrice Tollman, President and Founder

– Source:
Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town has secured its spot on the World’s 50 Best Beaches list, showcasing South Africa’s coastal allure and unique wildlife.
In a celebration of sun, sand and sea, the annual unveiling of the World’s 50 Best Beaches list has sent waves of excitement across the globe. Sponsored by Banana Boat, this prestigious ranking is the culmination of insights from over 1 000 travel influencers and professionals, illuminating the most breathtaking coastal destinations on the planet.

Amid the azure allure of Trunk Bay in the United States (US) Virgin Islands and the pristine shores of Cala Mariolu in Italy, South Africa proudly claims its slice of paradise, with Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town securing the number 32 spot.

This recognition not only elevates Boulders Beach onto an international stage but also highlights the unrivalled beauty of South Africa’s coastline.
Famous for its resident colony of African penguins, Boulders Beach offers more than just a typical seaside escape. Nestled against a backdrop of weathered granite boulders, this idyllic stretch of coastline provides sheltered coves and invitingly warm waters, a stark departure from the cooler Atlantic Ocean beaches nearby. It’s a haven where nature flourishes, seamlessly blending wildlife observation with leisurely pursuits.

“Our 2024 list is a reflection of the countless days spent by our judges, beach ambassadors and World’s 50 Best team discovering beaches around the world,” said Tine Holst, co-founder of The World’s 50 Best Beaches. “Our list will help inspire travellers to leave the beaten path behind and enjoy the most stunning and relaxing beaches on earth.”

This accolade spotlights Boulders Beach’s natural splendour and highlights South Africa’s position as a premier travel destination. As the only South African beach to grace this esteemed list, Boulders Beach beckons travellers from far and wide to discover its enchanting blend of wildlife wonders and coastal serenity.

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In August 2023, Wolvengat’s Mark Mitchell began a mighty stroll across the continent. Armed with the “TrekKart” he designed and made himself, Mark’s mission is simple: to deliver a specimen of “Spekboom” to Oslo’s Botanical Gardens in Norway and hope for the planet.

You’d be forgiven for wondering why Mitchell is so determined to deliver the succulent plant to a place 180 000 kilometres away from home. And you’d also be right in wondering—for there is far more to Mitchell’s “Great Trek” than an adventurous gesture.

Since he was a youngster, Mitchell was enthralled with the idea of being a trans-African adventurer. This was partly fuelled by such an adventurer who visited the village he was staying in on a mission of his own some decades ago. And for the past 50 years or so, he has longed to wear the same title.

For many years, Mitchell worked as a Cape Cycle Tour Guide, where he dreamed and talked about cycling to ‘the end of the world’ across Africa. As it turned out, he would undertake a different kind of transport – his own two legs.

But he didn’t want his trip from the Cape Agulhas to Norway to be solely about himself. Considering the good he could do by virtue of such a big trek, he decided to use the Spekboom as a symbol of environmental love and devoted his walk to raising funds to plant what he hopes will amount to billions of trees (7.2 billion at that) as well as shrubs and plants.

Through this, he aims to make the best use of his legs and adventurous spirit as possible, with several goals. These include, among others:

  • combatting climate change
  • the opportunity to rehabilitate local, natural ecosystems
  • removing alien species and replanting native species
  • re-establishing better ecological management.
Currently, Mitchell has covered 4 987 kms over 155 days and is in Tanzania (where he just made it to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro).

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A number of captive lions have returned to Africa from the northern hemisphere this year and now two more have been moved from the Netherlands.
Two African lions from a big cat sanctuary in the Netherlands have been moved to South Africa “to offer them a more natural life,” writes the Stat Times.

Lions Vasylyna and Nikola were being cared for at Felida in Friesland, the Netherlands. Last week, the pair were relocated to LionsRock in South Africa – an expansive 1250-hectare big cat sanctuary.

Felida is a specialised sanctuary for big cats, operated by animal welfare organisation Four Paws. The lions were handed over to Four Paws South Africa, who will care for the felines at LionsRock.

In March, another captive African lion from the Netherlands was moved to South Africa. Remy had been cared for at the Stichting Leeuw Foundation in Noord Holland, since being abandoned as a cub. Remy was accompanied on his journey by his mate Luna, who was brought to the Stichting Leeuw Foundation from Slovakia in 2021.

Vasylyna’s and Nikola’s move follows the transfer of 11 African lions to LionsRock in February after the evacuation of 48 wild animals from Sudan’s conflict zone in Khartoum.

“The lions spent nine months surrounded by the tragedies of war,” Deidré Daniels, Public Relations Officer at Four Paws said at the time.

“They are traumatised, weak, emaciated and prone to injury. They have responded positively to the treatment and care they received in the last weeks.”

In another rescue, two captive African lions in war-torn Ukraine were safely relocated to their “ancestral home”.

Three-year-old lion brothers Tsar and Jamil arrived at the Shamwari Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape in March. This thanks to an effort led by the international wildlife charity Born Free.

Vasylyna and Nikola embarked on their journey aboard a specialised Air France KLM Martinair Cargo freighter plane. The pair boarded last week from a dedicated animal hotel at Schiphol airport.

“We prioritise providing the best care for our animal passengers,” said Mirjam Scherer, Global Head of Specials Logistics at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo.

“We ensure the highest level of attention for every animal under our care, from the moment of arrival to departure.”

“Our team of seasoned professionals is ready to deliver the best service and care. This includes special diets, administering medication, and, of course, plenty of love and attention.”

Petra Sleven, Director at Four Paws added that the relocation of Vasylyna and Nikola to LionsRock means the feline pair finally have the opportunity to live in a large sanctuary, surrounded by other lions.

“It’s saddening that they never had the chance to be released into the wild due to illegal trade,” he said.

“We are glad to offer them a more natural life here.”

– Source:
Join Comedy Central and Nando’s for “DemoCrazy: A Roast of South Africa”, a hilarious celebration of 30 years of democracy with top comedians and special guests.
Comedy Central and Nando’s are teaming up for a unique extravaganza titled DemoCrazy: A Roast of South Africa, promising a blend of laughter, reflection and perhaps a touch of the absurd.

Picture this: a gathering of the country’s comedic elite and special guests converging to deliver a rib-tickling critique of our beloved democracy. Leading the charge is none other than Kagiso Lediga, whose comedic genius is set to steer the ship towards an evening of uproarious entertainment and genuine introspection.

In DemoCrazy: A Roast of South Africa, Comedy Central and Nando’s are tapping into our nation’s knack for resilience and wit, crafting an event that celebrates our journey with a healthy dose of humour and heart. Against the backdrop of a nation defined by its highs and lows, this comedy showcase is more than just entertainment; it’s a testament to our ability to find joy in adversity and solidarity in shared experiences.

Dillon Khan, Vice President of Comedy Central, expresses his excitement about partnering with Nando’s, a brand that shares their commitment to embracing life’s comedic truths.

“Together, we’ll ignite the flames of laughter,” says Khan. “With Kagiso at the helm, we’re confident this show will capture the true essence of Mzansi.”

Speaking candidly, Kagiso Lediga of Diprente remarks, “I’m thrilled by this opportunity to poke fun at this extraordinary, complex and utterly crazy country. South Africa is a comedic goldmine, and this show will be a celebration of that.”

Adding to the fervour, Nontobeko Sibiya from Nando’s shares her enthusiasm for the event, emphasising the brand’s dedication to celebrating the quirks and triumphs of South Africa. DemoCrazy: A Roast of South Africa promises to be a side-splitting celebration of our nation’s idiosyncrasies.”

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, 22 May 2024, as DemoCrazy: A Roast of South Africa unfolds live at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City Casino.

By daring to laugh at ourselves and embracing the chaos that defines us, DemoCrazy aims to celebrate the indomitable spirit of South Africa. It’s a gentle reminder that even in our darkest hours, laughter has the power to unite us and illuminate the way forward.

– Source:
South Africa’s Afrikaans accent was voted the sexiest by 1.5 million Enjoy Travel readers, putting it second on the top 10.
It’s official - South Africa’s Afrikaans accent has been voted the second-sexiest accent in the world.

Out of over 7 000 languages in the world, Enjoy Travel’s 1.5 million readers awarded Afrikaans the second spot due to its unique tones and slang.

The top spot went to New Zealand’s Kiwi accent.

Here is the top 10 list:
  1. New Zealand
  2. Afrikaans – South Africa
  3. Irish
  4. Italian
  5. Australian
  6. Scottish
  7. French
  8. Spanish
  9. Southern United States – Texas, South Carolina and Louisiana.
  10. Brazilian – Portuguese
Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, accents are in the ear of the beholder.

– Source:
South Africa’s Rainbow Runner, Keith Boyd set off from the Cape to Cairo on foot almost a year ago. Now, he is a few hundred kilometres away from making a world record. But with his safety in question, it is his community of supporters who will ultimately help him cross the finish line.
Boyd began his “Rainbow Run” across Africa in July last year with the intention to inspire voting culture in young, apathetic South Africans. With no political party bias, he hoped that the thousands of kilometres he would tackle on foot from the Cape to Cairo would remind South Africans that their voices do matter and that our country’s future is worth every step he takes. Additionally, completing the Cape to Cairo route in the time he’s planned for would mean breaking a world record.

Since July, Boyd has completed around 10 300 kilometres, experienced humanity in so many new ways and had the chance to live a score of different lives in every African country he has passed through. From the kindness of strangers to seeing the impacts of civil war, his run has been nothing short of an eye-opener towards the best and hardest parts of life, especially where citizens’ voices are not considered.

But completing his Cairo crossing is about more than finding the strength to push through the last 500-odd kilometres, as the Rainbow Runner faces security challenges.

In a BBC report, Boyd shared his experience of being held at gunpoint and escaping a kidnapping attempt by rebel groups in Northern Ethiopia. Fearing for his own safety and that of his videographer, his hopes to cross the finish line now rest on whether the Ethiopian Government will guarantee his safety.

Hundreds of people have come together to sign the Rainbow Runner’s petition, which will hopefully make its way to the powers that be and secure a safe crossing for him. With only a few days left for him to complete the run in time to break the record, Boyd says, “If ever I needed your help, it is now. Without it, I have doubts that we shall be able to get this Guinness World Record completed.”

As one petition signer shared, “We have come too far to not complete what was started, it is an amazing cause to show the youth of Africa that what we start we can finish regardless of challenges that have come our way. Backing you Keith! Let’s get those last 500 km done.” – Aeron Williams.

– Source:
Compared to last year, the average person globally spends three minutes more looking at their screens per day. This compelled a study to refresh a 2023 analysis with updated data to establish which countries do locals spend the most of their time awake looking at screens.
How the study was conducted

Data analysts at Electronics Hub re-examined how the world spends time in front of their screens in 2024, following on from a similar study done in 2023. Data was retrieved from Datareportal’s Digital 2024: Global Overview Report to calculate how much time a local person in each country spends looking at screens as a proportion of the average time per day they spend awake. It was also analysed which countries spend the most time on different devices and different social media platforms.

Key findings

South Africans continue to lead the world in screen time, with the average local spending 56.80% of their daily waking hours looking at a screen.

South Africans are also the biggest fans of looking at their phones, spending 31.72% of their waking hours on them (and using social media the most, too).
When it comes to television, the US leads, with the average American watching TV for 28.35% of their waking day.

Meanwhile, people in Russia spend the most time of any country on their computers (27.07% of the average local’s daily waking hours).

People in South Africa spend the most time per day looking at screens

The average person in South Africa spends 56.80% of their daily waking hours looking at their screens. That’s the highest proportion of any country, echoing last year’s findings. Here, research has shown that children are exposed to over three hours of screen time outside of school. Another study revealed that children watch more television in neighbourhoods known to be dangerous.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) also ranks highly, a country where the average local spends 49.09% of their waking time looking at screens. The UAE is on the higher end of the scale when it comes to the number of internet users who play video games. The Abu Dhabi-based Unplugged Initiative is one local organisation trying to tackle screen and video game addiction in children.

South Africa and Brazil among the top countries for time spent on social media

South Africa comes top again for the most time spent on social media, with the average local spending 22.26% of their waking hours scrolling through Instagram, TikTok and Facebook, the latter of which is by far the most popular, claiming a 68.35% local market share. Facebook’s popularity transcends borders on the continent, as Nesrine Malik writes for the Guardian:

“To users in volatile economies with disrupted supply chains, Facebook isn’t just useful, it is vital. The company may be in a fight for its life in the West but in Africa and other regions in the global South, Facebook’s economic, political and social influence almost guarantees it a second life.”

Next comes Brazil, where the average person spends 21.48% of their waking hours on social media. Here, the free messaging app WhatsApp and Instagram are the platforms of choice. Mexico ranks not far behind (19.36%), one of TikTok’s biggest fans with a count of 57.5 million local users.

The US comes top for most time spent per day watching TV

The US is the birthplace of television and arguably the most influential country in terms of programming. It’s also the biggest fan of the format: the average person in the US spends 28.35% of their waking hours watching television, the most of any country in the world. When Americans do watch TV, they go all out: the US claims the world’s second-biggest share of binge-watchers (after Sweden).

Most say it’s because they want to view a story all at once and streaming platforms are only happy to assist in them doing so. It’s part of the business model, explains Pedro Ferreira of Carnegie Mellon University: “Subscription platforms promote binge-watching because it keeps the customer in front of the screen. When one episode ends, the next one automatically starts. Also, the way these stories are written makes them better consumed in this manner. The storytellers take into account that you’re not going to watch one episode per week, you’re going to watch several back-to-back.”

Among the other top TV-addicted nations are South Africa (24.67% of waking hours spent watching it), Brazil (24.15%) and the UK (24.04%).


To determine the average screen time by country, data was reviewed from DataReportal (2024) and Sleep Cycle. Countries were ranked based on the average daily hours spent looking at screens as a percentage of average waking hours. Countries were also ranked based on different types of screen time across different devices and media platforms. Data is correct as of March 2024.

– Source:
The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture Minister, Zizi Kodwa, expressed heartfelt sadness at the passing of South African Boxing legend, Dingaan Thobela.
In a professional career that spanned from 1986 until 2006, Thobela was a multiple world boxing champion, having won the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) and World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight and World Boxing Council (WBC) super-middleweight titles. The Rose of Soweto was also a recipient of the Andrew Mlangeni Green Jacket Award.

Minister Kodwa said, “Dingaan ‘The Rose of Soweto’ Thobela was a champion fighter who captured the hearts and souls of the nation. The Rose of Soweto progressed from a prolific amateur boxer to become a three-time world champion as a professional.”
Minister Kodwa added, “Thobela fought in some of the most memorable bouts, such as the fights against Tony Lopez for the WBA lightweight title and against Glenn Catley to win the WBC super-middleweight title. Through his success and popularity, Thobela was one of the world’s standout fighters in a golden period of South African boxing.”

Minister Kodwa further stated, “As we celebrate 30 years of South African democracy, we mourn the loss of an athlete who did so much to elevate South African sport through his success in boxing. We also celebrate a champion boxer who inspired the nation, future boxers and champions from Soweto, Mdantsane, Thohoyandou and other parts of the country.”

“I express my deepest sympathies to the Thobela family and the South African boxing fraternity. I join millions in mourning the passing of the Rose of Soweto,” says Minister Kodwa.

– Source:
South Africa’s Junior and Senior Rhythmic Gymnasts gave the African Championships their all, and it paid off, with both squads earning their moment on the podium as second overall at this year’s African Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, which took place from 25 to 26 April 2024.
There, teams from across the continent hoped to make their home countries proud, armed with dedicated coaches rooting for their success.

In fantastic news for Team South Africa’s junior and senior rhythmic gymnasts, both group athletes earned second overall on the podium in the all-around group finals, as Gymnastics South Africa proudly shared, placing above Tunisia and just behind Egypt.

Standing out on the podium was South Africa’s Chade Jansen from the junior team who earned bronze both for the junior all-around individual finals and the junior hoop, clubs and ribbons final. Joining her in the podium spotlight was Tricha Richards, who also earned bronze for her ball finals.

Last year, the entire female South African Artistic Gymnasts squad took gold at the 18th African Championships, making them the first in nearly two decades to do so for South Africa.

– Source:
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has been commended on her achievements for uplifting women through sport with an Honorary Doctorate as conferred by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
The local football legend has played an imperative role in inspiring women’s participation in sport in South Africa, both through her own achievements and those of her team.

“She epitomises women in sport participation, leadership, and business and she is a positive role model for all future CPUT graduates and especially Sport Management graduates,” Prof. Simeon Davies, the Head of the Sports Management Department at CPUT said.

Prof. Davies further beamed over Ellis’ positive upliftment through sport; sharing that her story is one that has allowed thousands of young women to dream bigger despite their beginnings.

Ellis started playing competitive football at 15, and she would go on to make the national squad in 1993 (where she was also vice-captain) before captaining the national team from 1994 to 2002.
She led four successive Cosafa Cup titles; won the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women’s coach of the Year in 2018, 2019, 2022 and 2023; received the Order of Ikhamanga in Gold (awarded to South Africans who have excelled in culture or sport); and in 2023 she coached Banyana Banyana when they became the first South African senior national team to get to the knockouts during the World Cup 2023.

Beyond all she has achieved, her journey from humble beginnings has been a pillar of hope for many throughout our country. In turn, her leadership has guided not only her team but also the direction of many women’s dreams.

“A big thank [you] to CPUT for honouring me. Please continue to create opportunities for other women, celebrate them and their achievements. Continue to support and raise the profile of women,” she expressed.

– Source:
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has unveiled the Proteas' playing kit for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup set to be held in the West Indies and United States (US) from 1 to 29 June 2024. The Proteas are drawn in Group D alongside Bangladesh, Nepal, the Netherlands and Sri Lanka.
The playing strip was revealed during the CSA T20 Challenge final on 28 April 2024 between Lions and Dolphins at the Wanderers Stadium, which saw Bjorn Fortuin's Lions lift the trophy.

The kit was produced in collaboration with CSA's official technical partner, Lotto Sport and is predominantly gold with contrasting bright green sleeves and collar.

The shirt pays homage to South Africa's heritage with the national flag cutting across the shoulders and the Protea flower subtly featuring on the torso.
"Lotto Sport has delivered yet another world-class playing strip following the success of the 50-over World Cup design and we're excited to see the Proteas don the new kit on the global stage at the T20 World Cup in June," said CSA Chief Executive Officer Pholetsi Moseki.

"In the game of cricket, every stitch and every seam on a jersey tells a tale; a tale of ambition, a tale of inspiration, a tale of hope woven in every victory and setback.

"We wanted to ensure the kit design embodied the Proteas men's journey thus far, as they stand on the verge of a new era – an era characterised by an unshakeable spirit of optimism, commitment, determination and excellence."

South Africa is drawn in Group D with Bangladesh, Nepal, the Netherlands and Sri Lanka.

The Proteas will begin their campaign against Sri Lanka on 3 June at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York at 16:30 South African time.

Proteas' T20 World Cup group schedule:
  • Monday, 3 June 2024 - Sri Lanka vs. South Africa in New York (16:30 SA time)
  • Saturday, 8 June 2024 - Netherlands vs. South Africa in New York (16:30 SA time)
  • Monday, 10 June 2024 - South Africa vs. Bangladesh in New York (16:30 SA time)
  • Saturday, 15 June 2024 - Nepal vs. South Africa in Kingstown (01:30 SA time).
– Source:
South African rugby stars make a significant impact in Japan’s League One, showcasing their skills across various teams.
South African rugby players have made a significant impact in Japan’s top-tier rugby competition, League One. The 2023/24 season has seen an influx of talented South Africans showcasing their skills across various teams in the league.

The Kubota Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay have the largest South African representation in the league. Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx leads the charge, alongside fellow hooker Schalk Erasmus.

The team also features three formidable locks in Ruan Botha, David Bulbring and JD Schickerling. Centre Rikus Pretorius adds depth to their backline.

Mie Honda Heat has bolstered their forward pack with the addition of prop Matthys Basson and lock Franco Mostert. Flank Justin Downey and centre Dawid Kellerman complete the South African quartet in the team.

The Saitama Wild Knights have secured the services of two Springbok locks, Lood de Jager and Ockie Barnard. The team also features the dynamic centre Damian de Allende, who played a crucial role in South Africa’s 2019 Rugby World Cup triumph.

Shizuoka Blue Revs have added versatile loose forward Kwagga Smith to their ranks. Smith’s explosive style of play is complemented by the presence of centre Sylvian Mahuza.

The Yokohama Canon Eagles have assembled an impressive South African backline. Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, known for his tenacious defence and box kicks, joins forces with centres Jesse Kriel and Rohan Janse van Rensburg. Wing SP Marais adds finishing prowess to the team.

Other teams in League One have also benefited from the presence of South African players. Tokyo Sungoliath has acquired the services of the electrifying wing Cheslin Kolbe.

Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo has added lock PJ Steenkamp and utility back Stephanus du Toit to their squad. Toyota Verblitz has secured the signing of World Rugby Player of the Year 2019, Pieter-Steph du Toit.

The influx of South African players in Japan’s League One highlights the growing global appeal of the competition. These players bring a wealth of experience and skill to their respective teams, raising the level of competition in the league.

As the 2023/24 season unfolds, rugby fans in Japan and around the world will be eager to see how these South African stars perform and contribute to their teams’ success. Their presence adds an exciting dimension to an already thrilling league.

– Source:
Following the fantastic news that star gymnast Caitlin Rooskrantz is heading to the 2024 Olympic Games, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) shared that another student-athlete from the university will be heading to Paris in just under three months.
Lythe Pillay has qualified for the Olympics thanks to a stellar performance at the Athletics South Africa National Championships where his time of 44.31 for the men’s senior 400m sprint earned him glittering gold.

Lythe’s blistering speed saw him outrun eight other sprinters at the National Champs in Pietermaritzburg earlier this month, securing him his Olympic qualifying moment!
Per his university, the student-athlete is ready to give it his all to make South Africa proud in France.

“Between now and the Olympics, I just need to stay fit and injury-free so that I can give my best in France. I would like to thank the coaches and all the supporters who push and cheer for us to keep moving in the right direction.” – Lythe Pillay

Lythe still has one stop along the way, with the World Relays in the Bahamas set for early May. The speedster shares that he hopes more South African relay runners will book their spots in Paris.

“Currently, I’m preparing for the World Relays event in the Bahamas and that’s where I want to also qualify for the 4x400m relay and hope that the South African team also qualifies for the Olympics in the 4x100m relay,” says Pillay.

This will be the 21-year-old’s second time at the Olympics, after he made his debut in Tokyo at just 18 years old.

– Source:
Horse rider Heather Holland’s showjumping skills have landed her an incredible chance both for her career and for South Africa after she was selected to participate in a prestigious tour in France taking place from 14 to 23 June 2024.
“I have been selected as the first South African rider to participate in the prestigious Global Amateur Tour. This programme, renowned for its stringent selection process and commitment to excellence, represents a golden opportunity for riders worldwide to showcase their talent on an international stage,” says Holland.

But for the 23-year-old horse rider, it’s also the culmination of a lot more than just skill and dedication.
“My journey took an unexpected turn when a devastating fall shattered my tailbone disc and nearly broke my back,” she explained.

“It was a moment that could have ended my riding career.”

“Instead of allowing the setback to define me, I redirected my focus towards a new passion: rehabilitating previously abused or neglected horses. These equine companions became more than just animals; they were my partners in a journey of healing and redemption.

“Together, we worked tirelessly to overcome past traumas and build a bond founded on trust and understanding. Through patience and perseverance, I transformed these once-mistreated creatures into confident, capable athletes.”

Of the opportunity in France, Holland beams, saying that the significance of the moment is not lost on her.

“It’s a historic milestone for South African equestrianism, marking our entry onto the global stage with pride and determination.”

– Source:
Johannesburg’s Golden City Rollers have made the city, our country and the continent enormously proud after the squad became the first team from Africa to make their way to a global ranking.
The Golden City Rollers are the first roller derby league in Africa, founded in 2010 when a self-taught group came together through the love of the sport. Today, they are the undefeated national roller derby champs who’ve won all the National Derby Festivals as well as the first-ever continental tournament that saw African teams go head-to-head.

“We’re not just a team—we’re a powerhouse of resilience, determination and South African spirit! Every move we make on the track breaks boundaries, defies stereotypes, and proves the unstoppable strengths of our community.” - Golden City Rollers.

The team has already made its international and historic mark thanks to the recent news of their global ranking estimate (58th in Europe), which awaits verification by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) as per Alberton Record.
But they still have a few months to go before they can show their European counterparts that they mean business, as the games begin in June 2024.

Earlier this month, the Golden City Rollers shared that they have a massive opportunity to compete in the WFTDA-sanctioned Games in Europe, something the team deems a “journey that’s been a decade in the making.”

“This epic adventure not only solidifies our WFTDA ranking but also paves the way for future international gameplay, both abroad and, fingers crossed, right here on home turf. It’s a testament to the unwavering dedication and passion of every member of our league, and we’re ready to show the world what Golden City Rollers are made of!” the GCR squad shares.

– Source:
Mamelodi Sundowns’ head coach, Rulani Mokwena, has hailed Ronwen Williams for revolutionising the traditional role of goalkeeping in football.
Williams’ proficiency in playing the ball out from the back has caught the attention of international coaches, reshaping the expectations for goalkeepers worldwide.

Mokwena praised Williams for his adeptness with both hands and feet, asserting that his impact will transcend the current season, influencing the tactical approach to goalkeeping in South African football for years to come.

The trend towards recruiting goalkeepers capable of contributing to the build-up play reflects a global shift in football strategy, with teams prioritising possession and tactical flexibility.

Acknowledging Williams as his Premier Soccer League (PSL) footballer of the season, Mokwena emphasised the significance of recognising the evolving role of goalkeepers in modern football.

He cited examples such as Arsenal’s pursuit of David Raya and Tottenham’s interest in Guglielmo Vicario, highlighting the increasing importance of ball-playing ability in goalkeeper recruitment.

Mokwena also commended other goalkeepers in the South African league, such as Orlando Pirates’ Sipho Chaine, for their dedication to improving their ball-playing skills.

The growing emphasis on distribution and participation in the build-up play is evident across various clubs, signalling a fundamental shift in the role of goalkeepers in football strategy.

As the football landscape continues to evolve, Ronwen Williams stands as a trailblazer in redefining the culture of goalkeeping, inspiring a new generation of players and coaches to embrace innovation and adaptability on the pitch.

– Source:
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