The Diplomatic Society

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Minister Pandor addresses plight of South Africans stranded abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic

31 March 2020

At a press briefing Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa addressed South Africa's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with regards to South Africans stranded abroad.

(Photo from Pixabay)

Dr Pandor said that the Covid 19 pandemic is unprecedented and is giving rise to problems and challenges that governments across the world are struggling to deal with.  Over the last two months the world has changed dramatically and this impacts on governance challenges.  As DIRCO we have to focus on many fronts.  The most important one is ensuring that we play our part in curtailing the spread of the virus in our population, so as to protect the most vulnerable amongst us. International travel restrictions as part of a social distancing strategies have been implemented by many countries in the world.  These travel restrictions are accompanied by national strategies that limits movements of people through lock-downs to prevent transmission of Covid 19.


Lessons but no Learning: Bringing Asia to Africa

30 March 2020

Asia’s development since 1945 shows the power of better policy choices, and the perils of ignoring good lessons. This is one of the main arguments of The Asian Aspiration: Why and how Africa should Emulate Asia – and What It Should Avoid. The book’s four authors brought together decades of policymaking experience and first-hand exposure to Asia’s astonishing development. The result is a book that could serve as inspiration to anyone hoping that this will be Africa’s decade.

In 1968, a team of Singaporeans visited Kenya to learn lessons about their development. ‘At the time, we were then a more developed country than they were,’ remarks former Prime Minister Raila Odinga about the visit.

Some four decades later, Odinga himself was part of a study trip to Singapore with Kenyan cabinet ministers – ‘the latest in many trips taken by the Kenyan government to the island, about which no report was ever written, and where the participants kept everything to themselves.’


Locked down

25 March 2020

South Africa goes on a 21 day lockdown on Thursday 26 March at midnight in a bid to halt the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This is a decisive measure to save lives of South Africans from infections and to save lives of hundreds of thousands of our people," said President Ramaphosa in his address to the nation.

(Image by Dilon)

It is hoped that by the minimal movement of people the spread of the virus will be slowed down. Also the tracing and testing of contacts and isolating those who are carriers of the virus to break the chain of transmission, will be greatly improved.

On 25 March the number of positive cases in South Africa had risen to 709 from 116 a week ago. Worldwide the number of cases are more than 440,000 with almost 20,000 deaths.

"While this measure will have a considerable impact on people’s livelihoods, on the life of our society and on our economy, the human cost of delaying this action would be far, far greater," President Ramaphosa said.

Many countries around the world have implemented similar measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.



18 March 2020

As the Covid 19 pandemic spreads across the globe human activity has dwindled to an idle. Societal events have ground to a halt as humanity conducts an introspection. The virus has no preference of sex or gender nor discriminates on race, religion, cast or creed and is not cognisant of man, women or child, young and old. It may matter where it originated, but it matters most how and when it will end. What it is leaving behind in its wake is an exercise for humanness as animals and plants are immune from this disease.

Photo: Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and Dr Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Health at the Ministerial Media briefing on measures to combat Covid-19 epidemic, at OR Tambo building, Pretoria. 16/03/2020 (Photos: Katlholo Maifadi/DIRCO)


Taste of Japan

4 March 2020

Chef Zane from South Africa and Chef Suzuki from Japan recently collaborated to tantalize the tastebuds of patrons of the Wood and Fire Restaurant in Brooklyn, Pretoria.

l-r) Chef Suzuki, Chef Zane, Mutsumi Suzuki and Ambassador Norio Maruyama

Mr Norio Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan to South Africa brought out some fine wines from his special collection to be served with each course. The wines were from Stark Conde, a boutique winery in Stellenbosch.

The evening started with edamame beans as a welcome snack. The first course was Mozzarella Misozuke salad followed by a second course of either Temari Sushi Plate or Vegetable Tempura. The third course was a selection between Chicken Ramen and Vegetarian Udon and for the main course guests were spoilt for choice between wood fried beef fillet or slow cooked pork belly or grilled sea bass or deep fried aubergine all served with teriyaki sauce and sansho. And the sweetness of Hojicha Pann Otta ended this feast.


Diverse nations converge at Komjekejeke Heritage site to celebrate King Silamba

by Stella Sigcau

19 March 2020

Nations from various parts of Africa were represented during the 40th commemoration of King Silamba at Komjekejeke Heritage Site on 7 March 2020 including the DRC, Lesotho where Her Majesty Queen Sekhothami of amaNdebele comes from, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as from various parts of South Africa including the Vhenda, Mpondo, Pedi and Xhosa Kingdoms.

Guests were entertained with Ndebele music, praise poetry and dances. It was a cultural celebration which included cultural diversity.  There were artists from various kingdoms who shared their cultures with the Ndebele people, notably singer and guitarist Csana from the Mpondo Kingdom who entertained the estimated 20,000 strong crowd with her music and Xhosa poet Jessica Mbangeni who has performed on international stages including in the USA, Scotland, India and various parts of Africa to mention a few. She has just returned from participating in the Bob Marley celebrations in Jamaica to attend this historic event and shared her craft with the Ndebele people. Ndebele cuisine, arts and craft were also promoted boosting the local economy as well as cultural tourism.


Qatar Sports Day

11 February 2020

National Sports Day is a public holiday in Qatar and is celebrated annually on the second Tuesday in February. The main objective of the holiday is to promote a healthy lifestyle among Qatar's population.

Photo:  Mr Tariq bin Ali-Faraj Al-Ansari, Ambassador of Qatar and Mrs Al-Ansari with Mr Kanat Tumysh, Ambassador of Kazakhstan

Mr Tariq bin Ali-Faraj Al-Ansari, Ambassador of Qatar in South Africa hosted a Sports Day at the High Performance Centre at the University of Pretoria. Activities on the day included, amongst others, soccer, volley ball, tug of war and table tennis. Healthy eating was also encouraged as fresh fruit and nuts were served to the participants.  


A Mexican installation at Nirox

10 March 2020

The ‘Axis Mundi’ by Mexican artist Paloma Torres was the latest sculpture to be unveiled at Nirox Sculpture Park which is located on 20 hectares of landscaped gardens and waterways in the Cradle of Humankind - a World Heritage Site. In introducing Torres, Mrs Ana Luisa Fajer, Ambassador of Mexico in South Africa, said that she is one of the most important contemporary artists of Mexico.

Photo: Paloma Torres, Ambassador Ana Luisa Fajer and Mr Benji Liebmann, Philanthropist and Director of Nirox Foundation pictured with students at the unveiling of the 'Axis Mundi'

Torres was an artist in residence at the Park where she collaborated with students from the University of Johannesburg and The National School of the Arts in constructing the Áxis Mundi’, which she said means the earth’s axis and in Mesoamerican mythology is interpreted as a cosmic tree.


Yemen presents Shield to Gift of the Givers

2 March 2020

Ambassador Ahmed Hassan, Chargé d'Affaires Titular of Yemen hosted a reception to welcome newly accredited Ambassadors to South Africa.

Photo: Receiving the Shield from Ambassador Hassan on behalf of Dr Sooliman is Mr Allaudin Sayed, Gift of the Givers Regional Manager

On this occasion Ambassador Hassan presented the Shield of the Embassy to Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, founder of the Gift of the Givers as a token of appreciation and gratitude for the humanitarian support the organisation has been rendering to Yemen since 2012.




Diverse cultures of Africa: Namibia land of the brave

by Stella Sigcau

9 March 2020

Namibia, often referred to as the land of the brave due to having fought colonization and won, is home to diverse cultural groups with distinct history and heritage. Namibia apparently comes from Nama/Damara word which means "shield and is situated in the South Western part of Southern Africa with a population of approximately 2 million people. Namibia is characterised by its beautiful oceans and desert and is also rich in cultural and natural heritage which is critical to its economy.

(Image Pixabay)

The various cultural groups or tribes migrated at various times to Namibia.


Blue Deal SA Project signed with Netherlands

05 March 2020

Mr Han Peters, Ambassador of the Netherlands to South Africa and Ms Lindiwe Sisulu , SA Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, officially signed a Blue Deal South Africa Project. The Blue Deal aims to enhance access to sufficient, clean and safe water for all.

Photo: (l-r) Mr Hein Pieper, Vice-president of the Union of Water Councils (NL), Mr Han Peters, Ambsassador of Netherlands in SA, Mrs Lindiwe Sisulu, SA Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation and  Mr Mbulelo Tshangana, Director General of the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

The cooperation between the South African Water Institutions and the Dutch Water authorities started 15 years ago, and it operates under a Memorandum of Understanding between the South African Department of Water and Sanitation and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

The Dutch Water Authorities supports water management worldwide to strengthen Integrated Water Resource Management by exchanging knowledge and experiences and to assist the national, regional and local organisations and cooperate with key stakeholders.

The goal of the Blue Deal is to assist 20 million people in 40 catchment areas around the world to gain access to clean, sufficient and safe water.


A classroom constructed in honour of Guyana’s 50th Republic Anniversary

26 February 2020

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary as the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, the Guyana High Commission in South Africa hosted members of the Guyanese Diaspora, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), and Diplomats from Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti at a reception on February 23, 2020.

Photo: High Commissioner Hunte observes the Learners under the extension of the outdoor classroom

Dr Cyril Kenrick Hunte, High Commissioner of Guyana in South Africa officially opened a newly constructed classroom for four and five-year old learners at the Elias Motsoaledi Pre-School and Day Care in Devland, Soweto, following the approval by Counselor Badi of Ward 24. The school was named after Elias Motsoaledi (26 July 1924 – 9 May 1994), who was an anti-apartheid activist sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island, along with Nelson Mandela and others.


Page 2 of 4


February/March 2020













<|> <|> Indonesian Tourism responds to Millennials and wins Award 8 October 2019 "The challenge to the tourism world is not getting easier. It is not only the global economic slowdown, but also a change in... <|> A MEMORIAL, CORONATION, ENGAGEMENT AND A WEDDING: A ROYAL AFFAIR by Stella Sigcau 15 October 2019 September and October months were very busy in the royal calendars throughout South Africa... <|> Culture and Heritage Tourism Boost the Economy of the Mpondo Kingdom Mbotyi and Mngazi 15 October 2019 By Stella Sigcau Mpondo Kingdom is known for its cultural richness, beautiful... <|> SADC enhances cooperation with Indonesia 15 October 2019 ”Indonesia is ready to be part of the African development, especially in the southern African region” Photo: Ambassador of the Republic... <|> A rising star ready to make it internationally by Stella Sigcau 16 October 2019 Azemahle Lwanda Matebese a 13 year old, grade 8 scholar from Durban Girls High School has had a passion for dancing... <|> Korea calls for ease of doing business in SA 2 October 2019 This year marks Korea’s 4,352nd anniversary since its national foundation, and the 71st anniversary of its Armed Forces Day. In South... <|> Russia-Africa look to deepen scientific ties 14 October 2019 With a week to go until the first ever Russia-Africa Summit, Russia has emphasised the need to expand and deepen scientific ties between... <|> SA, Nigeria commit to condusive business environment 4 October 2019 The governments of South Africa and Nigeria have committed to creating a conducive business environment that will make it easier... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.