Comunidados de Imprensa

Comunidados de Imprensa

FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT - 29 NOVEMBER 2021

  Dear Fellow South African,
 
In my inauguration address, which I delivered on Africa Day two years ago, I said South Africa is determined to work with all the countries on our continent towards a future of growth, opportunity and shared prosperity.
 
I said that our fortunes as a country are inextricably tied to those of our neighbouring countries.
 
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, which coincided with our term as African Union Chair, our focus has been on responding to the impact of the pandemic on human health, society and economies.
 
South Africa was, for example, instrumental in the establishment of the Africa Medical Supplies Platform to enable countries to procure personal protective equipment and medical supplies, as well as the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, which has secured millions of vaccines for the continent.
 
As the AU Champion for the COVID-19 Response, we continue to play an active role within AU structures to support the continental effort against the pandemic.
 
As we continue to combat the virus, our focus is also on a sustainable economic recovery.
 
As part of our economic diplomacy efforts, we are giving renewed attention to promoting trade and investment with countries on our continent.
 
That is why this week I will be undertaking visits to four West African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.
 
These are countries with which we have strategic partnerships and are markets in which a number of South African businesses operate. In addition to government Ministers and officials, I will be accompanied by a delegation of business people representing sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, construction, consumer goods, renewable energy, healthcare and pharmaceuticals.
 
At the beginning of this year, one of the most significant milestones in the quest for African economic integration was reached when trade officially commenced under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This presents immense opportunity for the export of South African goods and services into the continent.
 
The United Nations estimates that the market created under the AfCFTA is around 1.3 billion people with a combined gross domestic project of $3.4 trillion.
 
The successful hosting of the Intra-African Trade Fair in Durban earlier this month was part of the effort to promote greater trade between our country and others on the continent and to help realise the promise of the AfCFTA. It is estimated that around $36 billion in deals were concluded at the Intra-African Trade Fair, in which more than 80 South African companies participated.
 
During my visits to Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal over the next week, we will look at how to leverage the opportunities presented by the AfCFTA to expand the footprint of South African companies into the continent and how we can better support those businesses already operating in other African countries.
 
We will also be looking at how companies from those countries can find trade and investment opportunities here in South Africa.
 
The state visit to Nigeria will coincide with the 10th Session of our Bi-National Commission and will reflect on the progress made in advancing trade and investment between our two countries. We will be looking in particular at how to support business expansion and job creation in both countries.
 
Ghana is another key strategic partner for South Africa and there are currently over 200 South African companies doing business there. Over the past decade these companies have engaged in large scale projects in Ghana representing over $1 billion in capital investment. Two South African banks, Investec and Rand Merchant Bank, have been involved in financing mass infrastructure projects such as road rehabilitation and construction, health infrastructure upgrades and railway line construction.
 
South African businesses also have a strong presence in Côte d’Ivoire. MTN, Standard Bank, Multichoice, Sanlam, Investec and the Development Bank of Southern Africa are some of the companies with significant investments in the country.
 
I will be participating in an Economic Forum with South African and Ivorian business representatives, where we will be discussing opportunities in existing and emerging sectors such as renewable energy.
 
In Senegal, we will discuss how to facilitate greater trade and investment between our two countries. Currently there are South African companies operating in the energy and wildlife tourism sectors among others, and a number of South African companies have expressed interest in entering the infrastructure construction space.
 
In all these visits, we will be looking to build trade and investment relationships that benefit growth, development and employment in each country.
 
For far too long, we African countries have trained our gaze on trade and investment opportunities in markets beyond the continent such as Europe, Asia and North America. If the AfCFTA is to be a success, we have to both strengthen the existing trade relationships with countries closer to home and forge new ones.
 
Restoring and rebuilding our respective economies is as important as the fight against the health effects of COVID.
 
It is our hope that these upcoming visits will not only strengthen fraternal ties with our fellow countries on the continent, but that this will translate into new opportunities for South African businesses, new markets for our products and the creation of employment for our people.
 
Equally, it is our hope that companies from the countries we are visiting will forge partnerships with South African companies and will find opportunities to invest and trade in South Africa.
 
With best regards,
  

UPDATE REGARDING NEW COVID VARIANT

Due to the new COVID variant and the increasing number of cases in Portugal, please be informed of the following:

  1. Some airlines are cancelling their flights to South Africa;
  1. At the present moment South African borders / Ports of Entry are still fully open - both to enter and to depart from the Republic;
  1. South Africa is currently on Alert Level 1 –  Alert Level 1 indicates a low Covid-19 spread with a high health system readiness;
  1. Travelers should confirm with the Portuguese authorities and the airline companies about the any restrictions imposed to travel to South Africa;
  1. Additionally, travelers to South Africa who had their flights cancelled, may send an email to Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar. and  Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar. with the following details:
  • Full Name
  • Scanned copy of passport
  • Full contact details – email address and cellphone number
  • Reason for travelling should be stated – documentary proof may be requested

The South African Embassy will prioritize urgent situations in the case of repatriation flights.

 

DIGITAL CERTIFICATE / TEST REQUIRED TO ENTER EMBASSY

IMPORTANT NOTICE

In line with the new Portuguese COVID-19 regulations, as of 01 December 2021, all visitors to the South African Embassy in Lisbon will be required to produce a full vaccination certificate (digital or hardcopy), or an antigen test (not older than 48 hours) or PCR not older than 72 hours.

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IMPORTANTE

Em linha com as novas regras portuguesas relativas à COVID-19, a partir de 1 de Dezembro 2021, todas as pessoas que visitam a Embaixada terão de apresentar um certificado de vacinação (digital ou impresso), ou um teste antigénio (feito nas últimas 48 horas), ou teste PCR (feito nas últimas 72 horas).

FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT - 22 NOVEMBER 2021

 

 

Dear Fellow South African,
 
If a nation’s character can be judged by how it treats women and children, then we are falling desperately short.  
 
A week before the launch of the annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children, the latest crime statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) show an increase in rapes, domestic violence, and, perhaps most worryingly, in child murders.
 
In just three months, between July and September 2021, 9,556 people, most of whom were women, were raped. This is 7% more than in the previous reporting period.
 
Of the nearly 73,000 assault cases reported during this period, more than 13,000 were domestic violence-related. The rate of child murders has climbed by nearly a third compared to the previous reporting period.
 
These statistics are shameful. We are in the grip of a relentless war being waged on the bodies of women and children that, despite our best efforts, shows no signs of abating.
 
We have said before that the violence perpetrated by men against women is the second pandemic that our country must confront, and like the COVID-19 pandemic it can be overcome if we all work together.
 
As government, we have a duty and responsibility to devote the necessary resources to combat crimes of gender-based violence.
 
Since the launch of the National Strategic Plan to Combat Gender-based Violence and Femicide (NSP) in 2020, there have been a several interventions to respond to GBV. This includes far-reaching legislative reform, support to survivors through the provision of evidence kits at police stations and psycho-social services, the establishment of a GBVF Fund and supporting the network of Thuthuzela and Khuseleka Care Centres.
 
The SAPS has indicated we are making progress in reducing the significant backlogs in DNA analysis, which is crucial to securing justice for survivors of sex crimes. The SAPS also operates 134 GBV desks at police stations around the country and is in the process of establishing more.
 
As work continues to implement all the pillars of the NSP, we must ask hard questions of ourselves as a people.
 
When we hold a mirror up to ourselves, do we see the proud, resilient, peaceful and freedom-loving South Africans we aspire to be?
 
Every year when November comes around, we make pledges to end violence against women and children. We take part in marches, attend mass mobilisation events, and wear regalia emblazoned with powerful slogans like “Sikwanele: Enough is Enough”.
 
But what we have observed over the years is that most of those who take part in the 16 Days of Activism are women and children, those most affected by and concerned about GBV. This needs to change.
 
Gender-based violence is, after all, a problem of male violence. It is predominantly men who are rapists. It is mainly men who are perpetrators of domestic violence.
 
Because it is men who are the main perpetrators, it should be men taking the lead in speaking out and reporting gender-based violence, in raising awareness, in peer education and in prevention efforts.  
 
It should be men in positions of authority in our educational system, whether as school principals, educators or lecturers, who should be making schools and places of higher learning safe spaces for female learners and students, and never, ever abusing their position of authority to demand sexual favours.
 
Men should also be playing a more formative and present role in their families, particularly in raising their sons to exhibit healthy, positive masculinity that is respectful of women and children.
 
Communities and community organisations must work with government to implement interventions that redefine masculinity so that we raise men with empathy, tolerance and respect.
 
Just as ending gender-based violence cannot be the state’s responsibility alone, the onus cannot be on women and children to end the shocking levels of violence and abuse being visited upon them.
 
South African men need to play a greater role in preventing GBV. They need to understand what constitutes gender-based violence, especially sexual violence.
 
The latest crime stats show nearly 4,000 people were raped in their homes or that of the perpetrator, and in 400 reported rape cases the victim and perpetrator had a relationship. This suggests that some men do not understand that sexual activity without explicit consent is a crime.
 
Men must respect their wives and girlfriends and understand that being in an intimate partner relationship is never a justification for domestic violence.
 
If each man gathers two men and the three pledge to never rape a woman, never lay a hand on a woman and hold each other accountable to this pledge, we can start to seriously tackle gender-based violence in our country.
 
This year's 16 Days of Activism campaign aims to shift from awareness to accountability and create an environment for men to play a greater role in GBVF prevention.
 
It is not enough to intervene only once perpetrators have entered the criminal justice system. We have to prevent gender-based violence before it happens.
 
I call on all South African men, young and old, city dwellers and rural dwellers, modernists and traditionalists, married and unmarried, to be part of the prevention efforts that are sorely needed in homes and in our communities.
 
By refusing to condone violence against women and children, by not being party to it yourself and by reporting such acts, you are setting an example to your fellow men, especially to young men and boys.
 
You will be sending a clear sign that neither kinship, friendship or loyalty can be an excuse for not standing up for the rights of women and children.
 
Let us work together as one to ensure that this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign is meaningful, that it moves beyond mere words, and that it results in real change in the lives of South Africa’s women and children.
 
With best regards,
  

FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT - 15 NOVEMBER 2021

  Dear Fellow South African,
 
Just as the COVID-19 pandemic has tested our resolve as a nation and united us as a people, it has also illustrated once more that community-based and civil society organisations are the lifeblood of this country.
 
Since the earliest days of the pandemic, civil society organisations have played an essential role in supporting the public health response and sustaining livelihoods.
 
When government embarked on an extensive relief programme to support people in distress, community organisations partnered with us to make it happen. In many ways this was a true expression of the Thuma Mina spirit. Among other things, they helped to expand sheltering services for survivors of gender-based violence and kept community early childhood development centres running. There were many local community kitchens that sprung up to deal with hunger, often supported by local volunteers, restaurant owners, supermarkets and farmers.
 
And while meeting vital community needs, these organisations are also creating jobs. This is a strength that we want to build on through the new Social Employment Fund, which has just been launched as part of the second phase of the Presidential Employment Stimulus.
 
Through this fund, non-governmental, community-based and civil society organisations as well as social enterprises will be supported to create jobs while undertaking work that serves the common good and is not for profit.
 
This could include work that promotes food security, healthcare, education support, greening the environment, better public spaces, community safety and action against gender-based violence.
 
It is expected that the Social Employment Fund will create around 50,000 work opportunities. A total of R800 million has been allocated to the fund, which is being led by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and managed by the Industrial Development Corporation.
 
Applications are now open for organisations to become the fund’s Strategic Implementing Partners. These partners must be able to create work for at least 1,000 participants, and will be expected to reach the employment target within the first quarter of implementation.
 
No less than 80% of the funds received needs to be spent on wages. This will ensure that the work supported by the Fund is labour intensive, provides meaningful experience and delivers real social value. Social employment is not about work alone, but about creating high-quality assets and services for communities.
 
Public employment programmes are particularly important when there are not enough jobs being created in the private sector. As our economy starts to recover from the effects of COVID-19, public employment fills a vital gap as companies get back on their feet and start hiring again.
 
Work opportunities under the Social Employment Fund will be part-time. This means more people can participate and participants can be employed and have a secure income for longer. This gives participants the time to develop the structure, skills and networks associated with participation in work.
 
Participants will perform an average of two days of work a week, and we want to encourage the private sector and the donor community to support these organisations, which will enable participants to be paid for more workdays a week.
 
As the International Labour Organization notes, work experience and skills acquired through public employment programmes can improve a person’s chances of being employed, becoming self-employed or starting their own business.
 
As with the other programmes of the Presidential Employment Stimulus, this fund will have a broader transformative impact by engaging unemployed people to carry out socially valuable activities such as educating our youngest citizens, greening our communities, and providing care and support to society’s most vulnerable.
 
As we strive to recover and rebuild in the aftermath of the pandemic, the Social Employment Fund will not only create more work opportunities and support more livelihoods, it will also be a critical driver of development and social upliftment.
 
Through this fund, and the many organisations it will support, government aims to mobilise the abundant energy and capabilities of the wider society to create work for the common good.
 
With best regards,