Foreigners are investing in real estate in South Africa, should you?

29 March 2021

Despite the economic difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the property market in South Africa is making a strong comeback. The oversupply of housing has resulted in a buyer's market, driving a renewed demand for properties.

The latest real estate statistics reveal that there has been an increase in foreigners investing in property across South Africa. The favourable exchange rates, low-interest rates and local banks providing financial assistance to foreigners make it a perfect environment to buy. From million-dollar villas in Cape Town to luxury mansions in Johannesburg, foreigners are taking advantage of this ideal investment opportunity.

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The new Hungarian satellite is in orbit - SMOG-1 is working

29 March 2021

SMOG-1, the small satellite of Budapest University of Technology and Economics, was successfully launched on the 22nd of March, 2021, at 7:07:12 local time and was put into orbit on the 23rd of March, 2021. A Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle with a Fregat final stage was launched from Baikonur spaceport (Kazakhstan), which carried South-Korean CAS-500-1 satellite as a primary payload and 37 other spacecrafts. SMOG-1 and 5 other smallsats were deployed automatically from the 32kg Italian UNISAT-7 and were put into a 550 km orbit early afternoon on the 24th of March. The first contact with the fourth Hungarian satellite was made by several radio amateurs in Hungary and the remote controlled primary ground control station of the developers between 0:46 and 0:56 on the 25th of March. The callsign of SMOG-1 is HA5BME, every subsystem is working properly, the onboard temperature is 31°C, the battery is 90 % charged.

Commemorating the Anniversary of Victory of the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale
Ambassador Ilya Rogachev of Russia awarding a commemorative medal to Ambassador Rodolfo Benitez Verson of Cuba (Photo: Embassy of Russia)

29 March 2021

On 23 March 2021, a commemorative event was held to mark the 33rd anniversary of the victory of the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale during the Civil War in Angola (1975 – 2002) held at 'Freedom Park' in Pretoria, Tshwane.

Amongst the attendees were South African Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, Ambassador of Russia to South Africa Mr Ilya Rogachev, Ambassador of Cuba to South Africa Mr Rodolfo Benitez Verson, representatives of the diplomatic missions of Namibia and Angola, veterans who had participated in the battle.

India confers Gandhi Peace Prize 2020 on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

26 March 2021

“Gandhi Peace Prize 2020 has been conferred on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, one of the greatest leaders of our subcontinent. Year 2020 marked the birth centenary of Bangabandhu. He remains an icon of indomitable courage and tireless struggle for his millions of admirers,” said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet.

PM Narendra Modi, who chairs the jury for Gandhi Peace Prize, said Bangabandhu was a champion of human rights and a hero to Indians as well.

The press release of the announcement said, “The Jury met on 19th March, 2021 and after due deliberations, unanimously decided to select Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the recipient of the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2020, in recognition of his outstanding contributions towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violent and other Gandhian methods.”

UK Climate Investments marks delivery of 254 MW of Renewable Energy Projects in South Africa
Kruisvallei Hydro plant

25 March 2021

UK Climate Investments has marked the delivery of 254 MW of clean energy projects it has helped finance in South Africa following the inauguration of Kruisvallei Hydro, a 4 MW run-of-river hydropower facility in the Free State province today.

Kruisvallei Hydro is the last of three renewable energy projects part-financed by the UK Government’s International Climate Finance programme, UK Climate Investments, to have entered commercial operation. The milestone at Kruisvallei Hydro follows the successful delivery of the 110 MW Perdekraal East Wind Farm in the Western Cape province and the 140 MW Kangnas Wind Farm in the Northern Cape province in October and November last year.

MIKTA – Unity in diversity

25 March 2021

The Diplomatic Society hosted a webinar to create greater awareness of MIKTA (Mexico, Indonesia, Korea (ROK), Turkey and Australia), a diverse consultative group of middle power countries. MIKTA has developed into an innovative partnership since 2013 after a meeting initiated by Mexico on the sidelines of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly.

Australia took over chair from the Republic of Korea for 2021. The agenda for the webinar was pertinently themed Covid-19 response and recovery, Gender equality and Climate action. The distinguished panel was made up of the Heads of Mission of the respective countries to South Africa – High Commissioner Gita Kamath of Australia, Ambassador Chull-joo Park of the Republic of Korea, Ambassador Ana Luisa Fajer of Mexico, Ambassador Elif Çomoğlu Űlgen of Turkey and Ambassador Salman Al Farisi of Indonesia. The session was moderated by Kirtan Bhana, Director of the Diplomatic Society, opening remarks were delivered by Sanusha Naidoo, Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for Global Dialogue who also served as respondent together with Advocate Ajay Sooklal, legal and economic diplomacy expert.

Venezuela Pays Tribute to African Independence Leaders
Ambassador Mairin Moreno of Venezuela pictured with Duma Nkosi, Chair of the OR Tambo Foundation (l) and Dali Tambo, son of Oliver Tambo (r)

29 March 2021

The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on 4 March conferred the Francisco de Miranda Order, in its first class, to six fighters for the liberation of southern Africa. Due the restrictions incurred by Covid-19, the event was held virtually and was titled 'Dreams of Freedom'.

The African leaders who were conferred the Order were Samuel Daniel Shafiishuna, better known as Sam Nujoma, founding father and first President of Namibia; Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique; Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Minister of International Relations of Namibia; Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri, Minister of Defense of Zimbabwe; Luzia Inglês Van-Dunem, president of the Angolan Women’s Organization and general of the Armed Forces, and Oliver Tambo (posthumous), one of the leaders of South African independence and a central figure in the African National Congress.

Qatar Congratulates South Africa on Human Rights Day

by Tariq Ali Faraj Al-Ansari, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Republic of South Africa
Ambassador Tariq Ali Faraj Al-Ansari of Qatar (left) with Minister Naledi Pandor (right) on a visit to Makupula Secondary School in Stellenbosch, Western Cape as part of Dirco's “Back to School” campaign on 5 March 2021. (Photo: Katlholo Maifadi / DIRCO)

23 March 2021

By all means, the Human Rights Day in the friendly Republic of South Africa that is annually observed on 21 March is cherished with fond memories by all citizens of the Republic of South Africa, as well as all peace-loving people in the world who wanted humankind to live in dignity and freedom, safe from all kinds of injustice, abuse and oppression. Undoubtedly, human rights issues became global in scope, indeed. The famously Sharpeville massacre where 69 were killed during the protest against the rule of Apartheid, triggered the UN General Assembly to decide on a global motion in 1966 by adopting International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, as an international day with significant connotations.

The Per Anger Prize awarded to human rights defender for South Africa’s shack settlements
Sibusiso (S'bu) Innocent Zikode (Photo: Michael Webb)

25 March 2021

Human rights activist S’bu Innocent Zikode has been awarded the Per Anger Prize for 2021. His work centres on the right to home, land, and survival for the most impoverished inhabitants of the country’s shack settlements. The prize from the Swedish Government will be awarded by The Living History Forum on 21 April 2021.

This year’s Per Anger Prize winner Sibusiso (S'bu) Innocent Zikode works for the rights of the poor in South Africa, one of the world’s most unequal countries. He fights for the right to home and land for society’s most marginalised members, highlighting the difficult living conditions for shack dwellers.

Japan hands over water training centre
Ambassador Norio Maruyama and Minister Lindiwe Sisulu at the handover ceremony (Photo: DWS)

24 March 2021

On 22 March, in celebration of World Water Day, Norio Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan to South Africa handed over the multi-million rand Roodeplaat Training Centre to Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. The Centre aims to train artisans to deal with water losses in communities.

Maruyama said that at this year’s SONA, President Ramaphosa called for economic recovery and economic reform and that higher rates of growth and employment will not be achieved without implementing structural economic reform. The objective of the Japanese assistance in the sector of water supply, said Maruyama, is to give support for the skills development of officials of local municipalities, who are facing challenges from non-revenue water.

Effects of severe weather can be prevented, says Creecy

24 March 2021

Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy says while the occurrence of severe weather cannot be prevented, its effects can be prevented by empowering the public to act on time and take the necessary precautions.

Creecy was speaking during a virtual seminar to mark World Meteorological Day (WMD) 2021 on Tuesday.

World Meteorological Day is celebrated annually by countries forming part of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialised agency of the United Nations.

Creecy said climate change is now part of everyone's lived reality and that across the world, extreme weather events, including heatwaves, droughts, floods and severe storms, threaten communities and ecosystems.

South Africa to host 1st international edition of the Blue Ocean Awards


24 March 2021

The first international edition of the Blue Ocean Awards is set to take place in South Africa on the 11th of May 2021.

The Awards recognises companies that have followed a strategy known as the Blue Ocean Strategy, which aims to create a new market away from the competition.

Created in 2014 by Alban Eral with the French Ministry for the Economy, Finance and Recovery and HEC Paris - the awards are going international this year.

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