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Official Statement by SA Government on Heritage Day 2018

Heritage Day on 24 September recognise and celebrates the cultural wealth of our nation. South Africans celebrate the day by remembering the cultural heritage of the many cultures that make up the population of South Africa. Various events are staged throughout the country to commemorate this day.

South Africa celebrates Heritage Day under the theme: “The Year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: Advancing transformation of South Africa’s heritage landscape.”

South Africans are encouraged to visit these institutions to contribute to their sustainability and relevance in addressing societal problems. Citizens are also encouraged to participate in community dialogues which will be held at these heritage institutions.

Communities are encouraged to safeguard and protect our cultural heritage and institutions for future generations.

We must work to ensure that our diverse cultures and heritage reflect all our identities without any distortions.

South Africans should take pride by living in a country with the following eight declared World Heritage sites:

Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa

  • iSimangaliso Wetland Park
  • Robben Island
  • Maluti-Drakensberg Park
  • Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape
  • Cape Floral Region Protected Areas
  • Vredefort Dome
  • Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape
  • Khomani Cultural Landscape

These sites are of great significance to all South Africans and should be preserved for the future generations.

Follow the conversation using #HeritageDay

(Source: GOV.ZA)

Russia and Sub-Saharan African countries signed 20 weapons agreements over the past two years

Russia and Sub-Saharan Africa countries signed a 20 weapons agreements over the past two years, says Russian exporter of military hardware. The Russian exporter, Rosoboronexport said on Wednesday that the company views South-Saharan countries as long-standing strategic partners.

“Over the past two years alone we have signed more than 20 contracts with them. We expect the regional market of weapons and military hardware will demonstrate a stable expansion trade over several years to come,” said, Rosoboronexport CEO, Alexander Mikheyev.

As per Tass the Russian exporter believes that the market of weapons and military hardware in Sub-Saharan African countries has been growing on several objectives and factors.

The military weapons company is currently participating in the Africa Aerospace & Defence show in Pretoria, South Africa. 

 

Source: TASS

BRICS Cultural Cooperation: South African living in China

One of the key aspects of the BRICS partnership is the cultural cooperation between the five countries.  This has led to citizens from the five countries finding employment and getting to study full-time in different BRICS countries. The BRICS Journal team sat down with a student from the Wuhan University in Wuhan, Hubei, China, to find out about the cultural experience for a South African living in China.

Thamsanqa Ngcezulla, a 23-year-old from Welkom, South Africa, got a scholarship four years ago to go study in China, where he is currently studying BCOM Accountancy at the Wuhan University. He highlights how excited he was at first to move to a different country, but the anxiety kicked in when he finally arrived there, a new environment, new country, different language and different overall experience at only 19 years old. One of the key challenges for him was the language barrier, he had to start first with learning Chinese at University before he can proceed with the rest of his course.

One of the advantages for him being in a foreign country was being surrounded by 119 students from his country who were also part of the scholarship program. The first thing that was emphasised when they got to China was that “you should never say no when a Chinese person offers you something”, Thamsanqa highlights how giving Chinese people are and they always ready to share with the next person, refusing their offer is offensive to them. Another highlight for Thamsanqa in his four year stay in China was their love for the Chinese culture, everywhere you go their music is played, they wear traditional attires and they celebrate their food.

The young man also stated that every time he visits South Africa for school holidays, he cannot wait to get back to China because of the warm and accommodating nature of the Chinese people. Once he got used to the food and finding familiar brands in the Chinese store, it became easy for him to feel at home in China, highlighting that he is always impressed by the Chinese technological advances, the convenience of the sub-ways and how affordable things are in the country. In a few years he will be finished with his qualification and stated that if he does get a chance to stay longer in China he will use it.

(By Ntsikelelo Kuse)

Belgium pledges €30m to SA for land expropriation process

The Belgium government has pledged €30m to the South African government for the land reform process. This was confirmed at the meeting between the South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu and the Belgium Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Didier Reynders, yesterday.

“We are sure that we need to go firm on the process of land reform because it was at the beginning [of] the reconciliation process of the country”, said Minister Reynders at a press conference after the meeting.

The Belgium Minister pledged his country’s support to South Africa’s amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution which allows for expropriation of land without compensation. The minister however, emphasised the need for balance in the process. The Deputy Prime Minister also explained that his country supports this motion because: “It’s a difficult issue in many countries”

In support of this the South African Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, indicated that there is a misunderstanding around the South African land reform issue across the world referring to the American President’s tweet on South Africa’s land reform. Minister Sisulu, further highlighted that “[her department] are doing something about it to educate the world about what we are doing to redistribute the land,”

Minister Sisulu went further to show appreciation to the Belgian government stating that “the bottom line which has come through is the Belgian government has understood our position, has from the beginning been with us, [and] committed €30 m to the process.”

By Ntsikelelo Kuse

Recession sent the South African currency and bond tumbling

South Africa was reported to have a hit a recession for the first time in 9 years on Tuesday. This news brought focus to the South African dwindling revenue that could deepen bond sell-off. Since August investors have discarded South African bonds with fear over the Turkish double-digit inflation which is now nearly 18%, this influenced bond sell-off in various emerging economies.

Related story:South Africa has fallen into its first recession in almost a decade

Economist were positive when the bonds inflow started picking up in July after a record high sell-off in June, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange data recorded R1.6 billion in bond inflow in July after almost R60 Billion of outflows in the second quarter.  However, news of the recent recession sent the South African currency and bond tumbling, the South African rand fell the hardest against the dollar compared to other emerging economies.

The news of the bond tumbling come after the South African National Treasury and the JSE launched a new Electronic Trading Platform for Government Bonds on the 29th of August 2018. The Electronic Trading Platform is expected to position South Africa’s Capital Markets amongst the sophisticated global Capital Markets.

The JSE’s Debt Board currently lists over R2 trillion government bonds, investors loan money to the government entities by buying the listed bonds, by doing this the investors earn regular interest payments and receive the money loaned after a period.

The recession is a blow to the new President of South Africa who has been on a quest to revive the South African economy after a decade of stagnation under the former President.

By Ntsikelelo Kuse

May and Ramaphosa tighten partnership

During her first premiership visit to South Africa this week, Prime Minister of Britain, Theresa May met with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to discuss plans to strengthen the relationship between the two nations.

This visit kicked off her three-African-country tour. Her next stops are Nigeria and Kenya.

The United Kingdom has been one of the largest global trade partners to South Africa; a 2017 reports shows the UK as the 6th largest partner with a total trade at R79.5 billion. In terms of export, Britain in 2017 was number 8 with R46.3 billion worth of SA goods. Over the years, the UK has been a key tourism source for South Africa, with an estimated 448 000 visitors recorded to have visited South Africa last year. Ramaphosa and May used the state visit to renew their commitment to each other and tighten the partnership between the two countries.

The conversation between the two heads of states also involved identifying key areas of investment that will help boost economic growth and development. Ramaphosa after talks with the UK leader stated: “We have noted with great satisfaction the strong relationship between South Africa and the United Kingdom in wide-ranging areas of co-operation including energy, science and technology, education, health, arts and culture.” The key sectors identified included manufacturing, agro-processing, infrastructure development, mining, energy and tourism.

(Additional Reporting: African News Agency)

Kganyago open to second term as SARB head

South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago said that if asked to, he would serve another five years at the helm of the central bank when his term comes to an end in November 2019.

Kganyago was appointed by former President Jacob Zuma almost four years ago and another term will extend his stay as head of the Reserve Bank until 2024.

The governor and his three deputies are appointed by the leader of the country for a fixed five-year term and legislation makes no provision for their removal.

“If the appointing authority tells me that somebody else could do the job, it is in the hands of the appointing authority,” Kganyago said.

“That is why you are appointed for a fixed term, so that during that term, you know that no one will interfere with you.”

Credit-rating companies have continuously cited the Reserve Bank and its leadership as institutional strengths for South Africa, even as they cut the nation’s debt to junk last year.

Kganyago said there was never pressure on him to step aside, even with changes at the National Treasury, and Zuma appointing people seen to be loyal to him to top positions at the revenue service and the National Prosecuting Authority.

“I can tell you that no one tried,” he said. “But if they were to try, they would have a fight on their hands.”

Source: Bloomberg

Alice Madisha: Creating spaces in the male-dominated market

Meet Alice Madisha, co-founder of Smith and Madisha Construction company that specialises in the completion of construction projects. Smith and Madisha Construction’s clientele ranges from shopping centres, car dealerships, office parks, lobby upgrades and warehouses in the Gauteng province.

The Limpopo-born entrepreneur grew up with the hope of becoming a civil engineer; however her matric results couldn’t help her qualify for university admission for that career path.

Madisha told BRICS Journal that when she went to the University of Johannesburg for self-application, she qualified to do for construction management.

The 31 year-old never planned to fall in love with construction management, saying it is all fate.

She now holds a National Diploma in Building that she obtained from the University of Johannesburg in 2007. Madisha furthered her studies the following year and got her B-tech degree in Construction Management from Tshwane University of Technology.

Before going into business, Madisha was a junior site agent with C-Pro Construction (Pty) Ltd, working in measurement and tendering (2009).

She was then transferred to be a site assistance at Randridge Mall, Victory Park Shopping Centre and Milpark Virgin Active.

During her stint as a quantity surveyor, Madisha with her mentor Jan Smith identified gaps in the industry and establish Smith and Madisha Construction. 

 “The idea of Smith and Madisha came when we were working together at Randridge Mall. We realised that we make a great team.”

The company was founded in 2011 when the two noticed enough room for other participants in the building construction industry. They saw potential for great change.

Madisha and Smith felt like there were not enough opportunities for growth in the company that they worked for.

Today, their company has overseen major projects such as Northmead Square shopping center, community care centre at Ekurhuleni. 

“We’re at a point where we understand one another; he knows that if he can’t see me during the day, it’s because I’m going about company business, and vice versa.”

Madisha has learnt that you can go far with the people whom they trust and those you know will go the extra mile for your wellbeing.  

She adds that women in the industry are usually faced with more resistance than men. Despite the hardships, stereotypes and discrimination she has had to endure, Madisha says her journey has been full of lessons, losses and victories.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything because if I changed those hardships, I was not going to be the person that I am today,” she says.

If she were to have a conversation with her younger self, she would say: “You are doing your best, don’t doubt that you are doing your best.”

Madisha recalls her proudest moments: “I remember when I was at the Randridge Mall, the first mall that we did under the previous company where I met my business partner.

“We had parked our cars there, where it all began.  I was proud to say I was part of this.”

In addition to her construction company, Madisha co-founded a women’s wear safety clothing label called She’s Alice in 2017.

“With She’s Alice, we have seen that women do not have their specific uniform. Throughout the years, we have been wearing clothing designed for men,” she says.

She’s Alice was co-founded by Madisha and Leago Selahle who is in the mining sector.

With both women being passionate about fashion, they realised they have the same challenges in terms of manoeuvring from office to project sites, without having to carry extra safety clothing or compromising style.

“We are planning to venture in doing business in both provinces, because our clients are all over.”

Madisha added that they are currently planning to spread in the market.

 “I want to see She’s Alice as the next clothing for the ladies in this industry. For me, more than anything, I believe that we are creating our own space in the man’s market.”

She is confident that they will find a supply that will produce constant quality. 

Madisha added that being an entrepreneur has taught her great lessons.

“Whatever you don’t understand you have to ask, because every project is different. You cannot say you know everything. You can be in this industry for 25 years and still do something for the first time.

 

By Ntsiki Ntsibande

 

 

Report: Cape Town no. 1 city of opportunity in Africa

Cape Town has been recognised as the ‘City of Opportunity in Africa’ by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC). Premier of the Western Cape, Patricia De Lille said on Sunday: “Today [Sunday], I am encouraged to see that Cape Town is recognised as Africa’s opportunity city, but in order for us to stay globally competitive we need to take the city to the next level and create opportunities for all.”

Statistics SA issued survey results that confirmed Cape Town’s standing as the City of Opportunity. The results show that employment in Cape Town grew by 4.8% year after year, making Cape Town the Metro with the lowest unemployment rate.

PWC Africa’s head of cities and urbanization, Jon Williams said: “Cape Town is at a crossroads between African problems and global ambitions. Its future success will depend on its ability to solve longstanding problems at home while keeping up with a rapidly changing world.” Cape Town has for year been faced with a wide gap of inequality and thus it has been a priority for the standing government to close this gap and bring people closer to opportunities.

At the end of the 2017/18 financial year, Cape Town exceeded its housing delivery target by 62%. This has been an attempt to build more settlements in areas close to opportunities. The Premier stated: “If Cape Town wants to remain globally competitive we must bring residents closer to opportunities and be a catalyst for job creation and investment as outlined by the city’s organisational development and transformation plan (ODTP).”

Source: Africa News Agency

Rabada named the best young male cricketer in the world

Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been named Wisden’s Golden Boy of 2018, an award for the best male cricketer in the world aged 23 or under.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has congratulated Rabada on his milestone.

CSA Chief Executive Thabang Moroe said:“This is another well-deserved honour for KG, whose achievements over the last few years have been quite phenomenal. These include becoming the youngest ever player to top the ICC Test bowling rankings earlier this year and becoming the youngest player to take 150 Test wickets.”

Moroe included that Rabada is clearly destined to become one of South Africa’s all-time greats and he fully deserves all the accolades that have come his way.

He added that Wisden is one of the most respected voices of world cricket and being named by them as one of the best cricketers at age 23 or under, is a tremendous achievement.

“It is also highly gratifying that we have two other well deserving cricketers in the top 10 in Aiden Markram and Lungi Ngidi. This speaks volumes for our talent development pipeline and holds promise of a very bright future for our cricket,” Moroe concluded.

Source: Sports24