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New era for SA

16 February 2018

South Africa's newly elected President, Cyril Ramaphosa, will deliver his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament tonight, amid high expectations and enthusiasm.

Photo: President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing Parliament after being sworn in as South Africa's fifth President (Elmond Jiyane: GCIS)

Ramaphosa was elected and officially sworn-in as the fifth President of the democratic SA on Thursday, following unprecedented political events in the country, which culminated in the resignation of Jacob Zuma as President on Wednesday night.

President Zuma tendered his resignation two days after the governing party, the African National Congress (ANC), announced his recall at a special meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).


Hiroshima Award for SA Playwright

13 February 2018

Mike van Graan is a multiple award-winning South African playwright, professor and cultural activist who has been awarded the 2018 Hiroshima prize.

Ms Hedda Krausz, Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of Sweden in South Africa hosted a reception on 8 February 2018 to honour Mike van Graan.


Photo: (l-r) Greg Homann, Mike van Graan, Suzanne Osten and Hedda Krausz


The guests included many of Van Graan's peers, who he paid tribute to saying that although he has been awarded the prize, much of what he has done would not have been possible without many of those 'comrades, friends, mates, actors' who were present at the reception. He said that although he received the award from abroad, it means so much more to him that his peers from his own country recognise the value of his work.


Norwegian Foreign Relations Growing Stronger with India and its Southern neighbours

By Srimal Fernando, Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society and Vineet Malik

15 February 2018

Norway’s foreign relations with India and its Southern neighbours like Sri Lanka and Maldives goes way back beyond the official formal diplomatic relations in the 1940s. It was in this positive atmosphere that Norwegian diplomatic ties with India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives have increased steadily over the past several decades. The foreign policies of Norway have in recent years been motivated by the drive to play an important role in development and peacemaking. Norway has realised the emergence of  South Asia with countries such as India and Sri Lanka which are showing impressive economic growth. The focus of Norway in its relations with the South Asian nations has been trade and industry.

Photo: Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi


The Chinese Embassy holds Lighting Ceremony

13 February 2018

The Chinese Embassy in South Africa held a Lighting Ceremony at Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, Johannesburg to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year and the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and South Africa. The event is themed “Lighting up the Spirit of Nelson Mandela, and Lighting up the Friendship and Cooperation between China and South Africa”. The Chinese Ambassador Mr. Lin Songtian and South African Tourism Minister Mme. Tokozile Xasa attended the event.

Ambassador Lin reviewed the great achievements of China-SA relations and expressed strong confidence for the bright prospect for future China-SA ties. Ambassador Lin particularly pointed out that, to establish diplomatic ties between China and South Africa is a major political decision made by President Nelson Mandela on the basis of the one China policy.



Glamorous Diplomatic Council Gala 2018

14 February 2018

International dignitaries from diplomacy, business and society got together in the time-honoured halls of the prestigious Frankfurt Grandhotel Hessischer Hof for the glamorous Diplomatic Council Gala 2018. This year`s gala served as the global meeting point not only for the European but also for the valued members traveling from the USA and Asia. The Grandhotel Hessischer Hof itself joined the Diplomatic Council four years ago as a member and has ever since hosted the DC gala providing the ideal setting for a fabulous and magnificent celebration.


The Centennial of the Restoration of the State of Lithuania

12 February 2018

On 1 February, the Lithuanian Embassy in South Africa organized a concert to commemorate the Centennial of the Restoration of the State of Lithuania. The recital by famous Lithuanian pianist Mūza Rubackytė was the first in the concert series, dedicated to the Centennial of the Restoration of the State, in South Africa.

Ambassador Sigutė Jakštonytė welcomed guests and emphasized that the Declaration of Independence of 1918 was, and is, a vibrant expression of Lithuania's never-ending quest for freedom. Guests included the South African Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor, members of parliament,  representatives of the South African Government, the diplomatic corps residing in South Africa, members of the litvak community and business representatives.


BRICS Sherpa meeting

7 February 2018

Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane delivers closing remarks at the first BRICS Sherpa meeting

SA International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told the first meeting of BRICS Sherpas and Sous Sherpas meeting Cape Town on 06 February 2018 that the priorities identified by South Africa will help guide BRICS as it enters its second decade of existence. South Africa took over as Chair of BRICS on 01 January 2018 and will host the 10th BRICS Summit in July 2018.

Addressing senior diplomats from all five BRICS countries in the first official meeting hosted by South Africa since taking over the role of Chair, the Minister said: “We believe that the identified priorities will lead to shared prosperity and inclusive growth and we are confident that your deliberations have charted a path towards the realisation of the BRICS developmental agenda in the second decade of BRICS cooperation”.


Be Alert of the Trap to Sabotage China-Africa Cooperation

by H.E. Ambassador Lin Songtian of China to South Africa

8 February 2018

It is regrettable to see that the French newspaper Le Monde recently published an article which smears that China has been wiretapping the AU headquarters. The article further maliciously claims that China has been transmitting computer data from the Chinese built AU headquarters to a server in Shanghai every night since 2012, and was only found out by the African side until last year.

For the Chinese people, we are not at all surprised by such a completely fabricated report from the Le Monde and other western media. In fact, we think such a report doesn't even deserve a response, because the Chinese people know too well what these media are up to. We are very happy to see that, in the days following this false report, Prime Minister Hailemariam of Ethiopia, Chairperson Moussa Faki of the AU Commission, and many other African leaders have stepped up to reject and condemn the report.


Celebrating Reggae Month 2018

by H.E. Cheryl Spencer, High Commissioner of Jamaica in SA

February 2018

This year marks the 11th year in which the entire month of February, which is also the birth-month of Bob Marley (the King of Reggae), Dennis Brown (the Crown Prince of Reggae), and several other Reggae icons, will be used to highlight and celebrate Reggae in Jamaica and around the world.

A collaborative effort involving the Government of Jamaica and the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), this year’s Reggae Month will showcase several events which will appeal to Reggae enthusiasts of all ages and interests. 

The theme for Reggae Month 2018 is “Peace, Love, and Reggae”. On their own, each of these words naturally invokes strong positive sentiments.  When combined together in one statement however, their impact is incalculable.

Popular favourites such as the Trench Town Music Festival and the Dennis Brown Birthday celebrations are again included in the line-up of activities.  Reggae Wednesdays, a midweek concert, will again be staged in Mandela Park, the park named in honour of Former President Nelson Mandela in Kingston.


SA to host 10th BRICS summit

1 February 2018

South Africa, which took over the rotational chairship of the emerging economies grouping Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), is set to host the 10th BRICS summit in July.

The summit, which is scheduled from 25 – 27 July at the Sandton Convention Centre, will see South Africa building on the BRICS programme of development and prosperity for partner countries.

South Africa says the summit, which will be attended by Heads of State from the grouping, will be an important milestone towards building stronger solidarity and cooperation among emerging markets.



January 2018







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