Diplomatic World April 2021


Firefighters battle Cape blaze

19 April 2021

The Table Mountain runaway fire continues to spread as firefighters work tirelessly to tackle the blaze, which has also destroyed a library at the University of Cape Town.

According to the City of Cape Town, precautionary evacuations have gotten underway on Peppertree Road, Vredehoek, after the fire spread towards the area overnight.

“Evacuate immediately and remember to take chronic medication, identity documents, passports, cash, cell phones, bottled water, non-perishable food, a set of clothing, blanket and toiletries,” the City said in an urgent message.

Giving waste a second chance

19 April 2021

Decreasing plastic waste and enhancing plastic recycling remains as a focus area for South Africa, says Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister, Barbara Creecy.

“A central focus of all our efforts has been to decrease plastic waste and enhance the recycling of plastics. This is in line with our commitment to reducing plastic waste in the environment and preventing this dangerous pollutant from entering our rivers and oceans,” said the Minister on Thursday.

Creecy was addressing a virtual session of the 2021 African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA).

Palestinian Prisoner’s Day

17 April 2021

Every year on April 17 the State of Palestine commemorates the Palestinian Prisoner’s Day. In 1974, the Palestinian National Council’s regular session adopted a resolution to mark April 17 of each year as a day to honor Palestinian prisoners. Since then, that day is seen as a national tribute to prisoners and their sacrifices, a call to unify the efforts to support them and their right to freedom, and a call for solidarity with their families.

A Taste of Ceylon Tea

15 April 2021

The Sri Lankan High Commission in South Africa in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Tea Board organised a “Ceylon Tea Demonstration and Tasting” on March 27 in Pretoria.

Representing the tea traders, two leading Ceylon Tea brands in South Africa, Dilmah and Basilur joined hands with the Mission to exhibit their products.

Ambassador of Russia Ilya Rogachev, Ambassador of Iran Mehdi Agha Jafari, and High Commissioner of Mauritius Dr. Prakamarjith Vijaye Lutchmun participated in the event as special guests.

High Commissioner Amarasekara of Sri Lanka to South Africa shared his sentiments about tea. He asked the audience if they have ever wondered why Sri Lankans are always smiling. The answer, he said, is in the tea.

President Ramaphosa announces new SANDF leadership
President Cyril Ramaphosa announcing Lieutenant-General Rudzani Maphwanya as the new Chief of the South African National Defence Force and the Military Command. (Photo by Siyabulela Duda - GCIS)

15 April 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday announced Lieutenant-General Rudzani Maphwanya as the new Chief of the South African National Defence Force and the Military Command.

Lieutenant-General Maphwanya replaces General Solly Shoke who retires at the end of this month.

He will assume his new responsibilities on 1 June 2021 where he will be promoted from Lieutenant-General to General.

Travel and Diplomacy 

Press Release

15 April 2021

Thabiso Magodielo, a long standing associate of the Diplomatic Society, has been appointed as Travel Diplomacy Specialist. His vast experience in the travel and tourism sectors makes him the ideal point person to drive recovery in these sectors post pandemic.

Magodielo has a Bachelors qualification in Law, a certificate in public relations, and has a passion for travel and tourism having initiated several business and entities in relation to this sector. He has organized several events and hosted celebrities and high profile dignitaries like Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Miss World Pageant and also hosted the South African Cabinet Lekgotla with the president and all government officials.

Heads of Mission to South Africa Accredited

15 April 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa, on 14 April 2021, received Letters of Credence from Ambassadors and High Commissioners-Designate who have been nominated by their governments to serve in diplomatic missions in South Africa at a credentials ceremony held at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.

The ceremony was conducted under strict Covid-19 protocols. The Heads of Mission who presented their Credentials to President Cyril Ramaphosa undertook to advance their country's relations with South Africa.

Trade, tourism and investment are key to economic diplomacy. The travel, tourism and hospitality sectors take priority in the post-covid recovery. People to people contact and face-to-face interactions are at the core of human diplomacy.

The Diplomatic Society welcomes the Heads of Mission to South Africa and looks forward to fruitful interactions.

Qatar Pledges New $100 Million to Alleviate Syrian Humanitarian Disaster

14 April 2021

The State of Qatar pledged another $100 million to alleviate the Syrian humanitarian crisis.

This came during the speech of HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani at the 5th Brussels conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and of the Region, which took place today via video conference.

His Excellency stressed the importance of having a collective response and enhancing contributions in alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people and the region. His Excellency added that the State of Qatar's financial and humanitarian aid to the Syrian people was more than $2 billion since the start of the crisis, whether in the form of governmental support or through non-governmental and charitable organizations.

Teqball launched in South Africa

14 April 2021

Local football hero and former goalkeeper for South Africa’s national football team, Brian Baloyi will head the local Teqball Federation. The launch at the Embassy of Hungary in Pretoria, South Africa showcased this ball sport played on a curved table with a football. The game was invented in Hungary in 2012 by three football enthusiasts: former professional player Gábor Borsányi , Hungarian businessman György Gattyán and computer scientist Viktor Huszár.

IAEA Ready to Support Japan on Fukushima Water Disposal

14 April 2021

Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi welcomed Japan’s announcement that it has decided how to dispose of treated water stored at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and he said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stands ready to provide technical support in monitoring and reviewing the plan’s safe and transparent implementation.

Japan’s chosen water disposal method is both technically feasible and in line with international practice, IAEA Director General Grossi said. Controlled water discharges into the sea are routinely used by operating nuclear power plants in the world and in the region under specific regulatory authorisations based on safety and environmental impact assessments.

Call for African medical supplies manufacturing facility

13 April 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the continent needs to build a vibrant and innovative African medical supplies manufacturing capability that meets the health needs of the continent’s people.

Addressing the High-Level Virtual Conference on Africa's Vaccine Manufacturing for Health Security on Monday, the President said throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa has demonstrated that it has extensive and substantial capabilities, resources and skills to address the challenges given rise to by the pandemic.

“Our task now is to harness all these capabilities, and to draw on the experience of the past year to build a vibrant and innovative African medical supplies manufacturing capability that meets the health needs of the continent’s people. This means that in the medium term, we need to expand existing capabilities into regional hubs that serve the continent as a whole,” President Ramaphosa said.

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