Freedom Day celebrated in Greece

29 April 2021

The South African Embassy in Athens, Greece held a virtual celebration for Freedom Day on 27 April 2021. Listen to Ambassador Beryl Sisulu's message in the video link.

Hashimoto Seiko appointed as Tokyo 2020 President

28 April 2021

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) warmly welcomes the decision of the Tokyo 2020 Executive Board to appoint seven-time Olympian Hashimoto Seiko as the new President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee. She took over as President on 18 February 2021, She was the Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Minister in charge of Women's Empowerment and Minister of State for Gender Equality in the Government of Japan.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “My heartfelt congratulations go to my fellow Olympian Hashimoto Seiko on her appointment as President of the Organising Committee Tokyo 2020. With her great Olympic experience, having won a medal, participated in seven editions of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Winter Games, and having led Japan’s delegation to the Olympic Games multiple times, she is the perfect choice for this position. She will ensure that the focus in the final months of preparation remains on the athletes’ experience while planning all the necessary COVID-19 countermeasures.

The First Man to Walk in Space
Ambassador Ilya Rogachev of Russia presents a prize to Joe Mahlanga who won a quiz competition about the history of space exploration. Also pictured is Alexander Arefiev, Press Attache at the Russian Embassy

29 April 2021

The first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, paved the way for all space exploration that followed. In introducing the film ‘Spacewalker’ to guests, Ambassador of Russia to South Africa, Ilya Rogachev said that Gagarin “didn’t just write his name in history, he turned a whole new page on it.” This year marks 60 years since Yuri Gagarin’s legendary flight into space.

The Russian embassy in South Africa hosted a Yuri Gagarin photo exhibition and screened the Russian movie ‘Spacewalker’ to honour the 60th anniversary of Gagarin’s great accomplishment.

The scene was set at Apogee Boutique hotel in Pretoria to step into the world of space travel. After the then USSR successfully sent the first man into space the race was on to have a person ‘walk in space’ and the film ‘Spacewalker’ captivates in relaying the story of the great achievement.

SA celebrates Freedom Day
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the 27th National Freedom Day Celebrations under the theme “The year of Charlotte Maxeke: The meaning of Freedom under COVID-19”, in Botshabelo, Free State Province. (Photo by Jairus Mmutle/GCIS)

27 April 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa says government has made great progress towards realising the rights of people and advancing human dignity.

“Today we have a country where all enjoy human rights and freedoms,” the President said.

Speaking at this year’s Freedom Day celebration in Botshabelo in the Free State, President Ramaphosa said the country has a Constitution that is a shield and a protection for all.

“And yet, even as we have lived in a democratic country for the past 27 years, we know that across many parts of South Africa, the promise of 1994 has not yet been fulfilled. Millions of South Africans still live in conditions of poverty and deprivation,” President Ramaphosa said.

South Africa's Freedom Day made the country stronger

by Tariq Ali Faraj Al-Ansari, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Republic of South Africa

27 April 2021

The commemoration of South African Freedom Day on April 27th represents a brink to new life of dignity for the whole world. The restoration of South Africans right to self-determination in 1994 ended an era of Africa's most difficult and longest path to free people from colonialism, segregation and injustice. In that year the first non-racial democratic elections bestowed leadership on Nelson Mandela, the well-deserved honourable man and role-model of forgiveness, reconciliation and patriotism.

World Book Day

23 April 2021

World Book Day, also known as World Book and Copyright Day, is celebrated across the globe on April 23 every year. World Book Day is celebrated to recognise and promote the benefit of reading books, publishing and copyright. World Book Day is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

"The power of books must be fully harnessed. We must ensure their access so that everyone can take refuge in reading, and by doing so, be able to dream, learn and reflect" — Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day 2021

Earth Day 2021

22 April 2021

Today is Earth Day, celebrated around the world to pledge support for environmental protection. The year 2021 marks the 51st anniversary of the annual celebrations. This year’s theme for Earth Day is ‘Restore Our Earth’.

In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22 as ‘International Mother Earth Day’.

“Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is a chance to set the world on a cleaner, greener, more sustainable path,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement.

“Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Let’s remind more than ever on this International Mother Earth Day that we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet”.

Earth Day - Climate change summit

22 April 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa, at the invitation of United States President Joe Biden, will participate in a summit on climate change that will be convened virtually on 22 and 23 April 2021.

The Leaders’ Summit on Climate is the first high-level meeting to be convened by the United States of America since its return to the multilateral climate discussions under the Paris Agreement.

South Africa views the summit as an opportunity for all countries to exercise leadership in climate change mitigation and just transitions, in accordance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement.

“South Africa expects all countries to take this opportunity to highlight progress in the implementation of their national plans and policies on climate change, such as the enhancement of their Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement.

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.

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