The importance for South Africa SMEs to adopt technology

3D rendered concept of the state of the economic and finance markets in South Africa.

A thriving Small and medium enterprise (SME) environment is needed for South Africa to grow, develop and solve issues like unemployment and poverty. The small business landscape in South Africa can be a jungle with only the fittest surviving as 90% of small businesses fail in their first 2 years of operating.

The fourth Industrial revolution is upon us and with it comes a variety of disruptive technologies that SMEs need to utilising. For South Africa to produce more SMEs and for those to go on to survive, South African business people will have to look into new technologies and how it can advance their businesses, product and services not only for their benefit but to sustain them in this new digital age. 

The physical is moving towards the digital which is effecting employment, laws, politics and Industries that once looked self sustained and secured for years. SMEs are now required to find ways of innovating to further their growth and capitalised on the disruptive technology. The SMEs that take advantage of  new technology will become leaders in their industry and possibly shape the direction of business in the years to come. 

By Mokgethi Mtezuka’

Brazil president signs sportsbet legislation into law

Outgoing Brazilian President Michel Temer, signed in to law Brazil Sport betting legislature on Wednesday. This will open the door for gambling on sports the country, allow international sports gambling companies to move and operate freely in accordance to the law.

Brazil’s law allowed for the lottery –  the addition of online and land-based fixed odds sports betting is the first in the country’s history. The change in legislation could be the last one for the ongoing President, as President elect Jair Bolsonaro will take office next year.

This legislature is expected to bring in a lot of gaming revenue for a number of governmental departments, and was praised by President Temer,  as being great for the Brazilian people. There is more broad legislation on gambling, however they are being held back by various religious groups, victims of stakeholder squabbles as well as numerous corruption scandals.


Sergiy Kyslytsya: Human rights protection is common responsibility of Government, Parliament, civil society; it starts with each of us

On 10 December 2018, the Human Rights Day and 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were celebrated at Mykhailivska (St. Michael’s) Square in Kyiv.

The event was organised by the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Heads and representatives of diplomatic missions and international organisations, government officials, and ordinary citizens took part in the event.

In his welcoming remarks, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergiy Kyslytsya underscored the importance of human rights protection, particularly in the situation of armed conflict. This was the objective of the invitation extended to the UN Human Rights Mission by the Government of Ukraine following the start of the Russian military aggression and occupation of the Crimean peninsula – to support the Government in ensuring protection of human rights in the occupied territories.

Protection of human rights is a common responsibility of the Government, the Parliament and the civil society; it starts with each of us, Kyslytsya said at the opening ceremony. He also stressed the importance of the Mission’s presence in the temporarily occupied territories.

Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine Fiona Frazer, UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine Osnat Lubrani as well as foreign ambassadors also spoke at the opening ceremony.


Issued by: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine


BRICS Senior Officials and Experts meet on BRICS Women Agenda

In preparation for the soon to be formed BRICS Women’s Forum the Department of Women hosted a meeting of senior experts and officials. The leaders had a two day meet in Pretoria, South Africa

The meeting brought together delegates from all the five BRICS member states and  had strong emphasis on women inclusive development and the progression of equality.

Women in leadership roles and there progression within the BRICS countries have been limited. The BRICS Women’s Forum will seek to advance equality pushing the women agenda forward in the BRICS agenda. According to the South African government the BRICS Women’s Forum could be “an important platform to exchange best practices and forge partnerships across BRICS countries to promote women’s advancement”.

The main role for the forum will be to address gender based inequality, advancing women in the political, social and economic spheres of BRICS. To encourage, empower female leadership and participation.

The meeting as reported by the finalisation of the concept note of the establishment of the BRICS Woman’s Forum was drafted, which will now be delivered to all BRICS governments for approval.


By Mokgethi Mtezuka

China’s consumption of South African wines on the rise

China by 2021 will be the second world’s biggest wine market.  This is according to a report published by Vinexpo, earlier this year. The country’s wine consumption is expected to grow to $23 billion in the next five years.

Chairman of a South African wine rand [L’Huguenot Vineyards], Hein Koegelenberg formed a partnership with Yangzhou Perfect, a Chinese wine brand in 2013. The relations between the two wine brands came a year before China becoming the world’s biggest consumer of red wine.   

“The company exports three South African brands to China; L’Huguenot, Leopards Leap and Motte,” reports China has a large online shopping market, this led to 49% of the company’s wines sold online.

The wine is now being stocked by 13 000 Chinese stores and around 1 500 salespeople are introducing China to the South African brands. This bears testament that the Chinese are demand for South African wines is growing.


Source: The Drinks Business

India, South Africa relations have a solid framework – High Commissioner

South Africa and India’s relations are historical in nature – the countries relations are according to Indian High Commissioner to South Africa Ruchira Kamboj, the relations have a solid framework. The trade between the two countries stands at approximately $10 billion.  According to Engineering News, more than 150 Indian companies have invested in South Africa employing more than 20 000 South Africans.

India and South Africa are old friends and historical partners,” she highlights. “Don’t forget we are Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries, members of Ibsa (India, Brazil, South Africa), we are both members of the Commonwealth. And we are both countries of the Global South,” says Kamboj.

“This time is the best time, for we have a New India and a New South Africa,” she affirmed. “In 2018, so far, 14 Indian Cabinet Ministers have visited South Africa, including Prime Minister Modi (for the Brics Summit). We believe that this high-level engagement will continue. It sends the right signal to business and especially investors.”


Source: Engineering News

China, India military drill set to improve ties

India and China began their “Hand-in-Hand” military drill yesterday in China’s city of Chengdu. The drill is set to improve ties between the two militaries. China and India militaries had a standoff at Doklam [an area with a plateau and a valley, lying between Tibet’s Chumbi Valley to the north, Bhutan’s Ha Valley to the east and India’s Sikkim state] last year.

The 7th edition of the joint training will focus on tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency/counter terrorist environment as per the UN mandate.

China on Monday said that it hopes that the resumption of the exercises between the two armies will produce good results and lead to improved bilateral relations. This drills are held after a one year gap, the military training did no take place in the past year due to the 73 day standoff between both countries militaries in Doklam in the Sikkim secor.


Source: NDTV

Brazil created over 790 thousand formal vacancies in 2018

The Brazilian labour market continues to show clear signs of recovery. In the first ten months of the year, 790,579 formal jobs were created in the country, the best result for the period since 2015. The data comes from the General Register of Employed and Unemployed Persons (Caged), released on Tuesday (21) by the Ministry of Labour.

In October, the labour market’s positive balance was of 57,733 formal jobs, a 0.15% growth in relation to the previous month. In last-twelve-month terms, the balance shows that 444,483 vacancies were created.


Six of the country’s eight economic sectors registered an increase in the number of formal jobs in October. Retail stood out, creating 34,133 vacancies. Then, we have the service sector, with 28,759 jobs created and the manufacturing industry, with 7,048 formal positions.


Four of Brazil’s five regions recorded a positive balance in relation to formal jobs in October this year. The labour market recorded growth in the South (25,999 jobs), Southeast (15,988), Northeast (13,426) and North (2,379) regions. In the Midwest, there was a slight drop of 59 jobs.


Out of the country’s 27 federated units, 23 experienced a hike in the number of formal jobs. The best results fell to São Paulo (13,088 jobs), Santa Catarina (9,743), Rio Grande do Sul (9,319), Paraná (6,937) and Ceará (3,669).


South Africa welcomes the signing of the Pre-Negotiation Agreement for the Resumption of the Peace Process in Darfur

The South African Government welcomes the signing of the Pre-Negotiation Agreement for the Resumption of the Peace Process in Darfur on 6 December 2018 in Berlin, the Federal Republic of Germany. The signing of the Pre-Negotiation Agreement between the Government of Sudan, the Justice and Equality Movement-Gebril Ibrahim and the Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi constitutes a significant step forward in advancing the Darfur peace process. It provides hope for the ultimate objective of achieving a lasting and durable peace in one of Africa’s most long-standing and protracted conflicts. Significantly, it establishes a platform for the critical commencement of substantive negotiations leading to the signing of a final peace agreement under the aegis of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel-led peace process, under the mediation of former President Thabo Mbeki.

The South African government acknowledges the vital role played by Ambassador Jeremiah Kingsley Mamabolo, the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Negotiator in support of advancing the peace process in Darfur. His tireless work and persistent efforts has facilitated the preparation of critical groundwork, thus paving the way for the commencement of the important phase of substantive negotiations, as a precursor to the signing of a permanent and final peace agreement for Darfur. His efforts, has in no small measure, been instrumental in building necessary trust among all the parties and instilling confidence in the integrity of the peace process.

We express also our appreciation to the Federal Republic of Germany for hosting the signing of the Pre-Negotiation Agreement and for the material and substantive support invested by the Troika (USA, UK and Norway) in the Darfur peace process, in the spirit of true partnership.

We note the agreement reached that the negotiations shall build on the foundations of the Doha Document for Peace and Darfur, and that all issues that the Parties deem instrumental for sustainable peace shall be open for negotiations towards reaching agreement, with the talks on substantive issues to take place in Doha, Qatar, in the coming month.

At this pivotal juncture in the peace process in Darfur, the South African government calls upon the parties to demonstrate strong leadership and commitment towards ensuring a successful conclusion to the negotiations and the creation of permanent and durable peace for the beleaguered and long-suffering people of Sudan. The absence of durable and sustainable peace, will inevitably delay the critical process of national reconciliation and post-conflict recovery for Sudan.

Peace in Darfur is an essential requirement for the realization of a continent free of war, conflict, and underdevelopment, as encapsulated in the African Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, and within the broader objective of the AU’s aspirational goal of Silencing the Guns by the year 2020.


Issued by: The Department of International Relations and Cooperation


Deputy Minister Landers leads South African delegation to the 108th Session of ACP Council of Ministers in Brussels


The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Luwellyn Landers is in Brussels, Belgium to participate in the 108th Session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) Council of Ministers scheduled from 12-14 December 2018.

The 108th Ministerial is the first ACP Ministerial meeting since the commencement of negotiations with the EU, and also comes soon after finalisation of the position of the African region on post-Cotonou, during the 11th Extraordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly, held on 17 and 18 November 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

To date, five rounds of negotiations have been held in Brussels.  The ACP negotiates through a Central Negotiating Group (CNG) and three Technical Negotiating Teams (TNTs). South Africa participates in the negotiations as one of two regional representatives in the TNT on Trade, Investment, Industrialisation and Services.

In addition to negotiating a successor agreement to the CPA, the ACP Group is reviewing its performance over the last forty years and reflecting on how the ACP could respond to the current global environment through a revision of its founding document, the Georgetown Agreement. This process is aimed at reviewing the mandate, vision, mission and strategic direction of the ACP as a reformed international organisation post-2020, including its future interactions with international role-players beyond the EU.

The legal basis for relations between the ACP and the European Union (EU), the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA), will expire on 29 February 2020. The CPA makes provision for Duty-Free, Quota-Free (DFQF) trade for ACP Member States into the EU.

Deputy Minister Landers will be supported by Ambassador Baso Sangqu, South Africa’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and the European Union, and senior officials from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.


Issued by: The Department of International Relations and Cooperation