Press Releases

Press Releases


Brand South Africa welcomes the release of the 2019 edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), which indicates South Africa’s over-all ranking improved from 67 out of 140 nations in 2018, to 60 out 141 nations in 2019.

The WEF GCI is made up of 12 pillars, each covering a unique area of performance that ultimately influences the over-all competitiveness profile of the market. It offers insights into the prospects of 141 economies, providing unique acumen into the drivers of economic growth. Competitiveness has a direct impact on the reputation of countries for several reasons, but primarily plays a role in framing an understanding of the broader environments that impact on societal productivity and efficiency. Most importantly, competitiveness is a major factor that impacts Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) decisions.

According to the GCI data, South Africa now ranks number one out of 141 nations for budget transparency, a significant ranking that is an illustration of the robust and transparent political governance system of the country, which is anchored in the Constitution of the Republic. This is also supported by the Open Budget Index, where South Africa ranks number two out of 103 nations, clearly highlighting South Africa’s high levels of transparency in its political governance system. South Africa’s ranking on judicial independence also improves markedly with 15 positions in 2018 and currently stands at 33 out of 141 nations.

South Africa’s over-all performance in the 2019 GCI is specifically driven by improvements in Institutions, Health and the Product Market.
The Institutions pillar improves from 69 out of 140 to 55 out of 141 – this is due to reputational damage in the area of governance in recent years.
Health, also historically a weaker area of South Africa’s performance, improves from 125 to 118 in 2019.
Product market improves from 74 to 69 in 2019.

Speaking on the results, Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Research, Dr Petrus de Kock, says: “Interestingly enough following on 2018, a year wherein local and global media carried extensive and mostly negative coverage on South Africa’s proposed land reform policy, South Africa’s rankings in Property Rights & Quality Land Administration show improvement. This affirms the country’s strengthened competitiveness profile and a growing economy”.

For the full report, visit – Source:


Get ready for this year's Diplomatic Bazaar, to be held on 15 and 16 November 2019 (Friday and Saturday), from 11h00 to 19h00, at the Centro de Congressos de Lisboa.  All proceeds go to institutions caring for people with rare diseases.  South Africa will be selling SA crafts, wines and foods.  SEE YOU THERE!


Ambassador Gaoretelewe participated in the Leadership Summit that took place on 1 October 2019 at the Casino Estoril, on a panel together with the Ambassadors of France, Peru and India.  The general theme of the panel discussion was "Are we going together?".  You can read the Ambassador's contribution to the discussion below.



Theme: “Are we going together?”

Yes, because TOGETHER as women we are like a rock!

“When you strike a woman, you strike a rock”, these words in song have come to represent the struggle of women in South Africa with the Woman’s March of 1956, when over 20 000 women of all races marched TOGETHER to the Union Buildings to protest against discriminatory pass laws.  Since 1995 this march has been celebrated in SA as Women’s Day, bringing TOGETHER women, but more so society as one to recognise the significant role played by women’s activism during the struggle for liberation against colonisation & apartheid and beyond.

Through the symbol of that rock, we TOGETHER salute their resilience, strength and power.  

Today, we pay tribute to many generations who have taken up the baton of struggle towards a world that is truly non-sexist and equal. TOGETHER we are blazing a trail - in the workplace and in the boardrooms, in our factories and on our farms, in our Parliament and in our civil society organisations.  

South Africa is celebrating 25 years of our democracy this year, and we can say with certainty that TOGETHER we have made a real difference in the lives of our women.  The empowerment of women has been placed at the heart of Government’s work. Thus we are proud to have implemented policies and programmes to give practical expression to women’s rights to education, to health care, to basic services and to social support. Therefore, today in South Africa:

  • women comprise 58% of all students enrolled at universities and colleges;
  • 47% per cent of Members of Parliament (MPs) are women;
  • Cabinet has achieved a 50/50 gender parity of Minsters.

    In this regard I am also proud to be the fourth female Ambassador to Portugal since 1994. And I am proud to say that the number of Women Ambassadors has been increasing and is now 34. And similarly through AWA we have witnessed an increasing number of Woman Ambassadors in Portugal, currently standing at 24.

Yes, we know more needs to be done. There can be no true liberation unless women are also economically empowered across all levels. Working with partners in business and labour, in communities and across civil society, we are taking measures to build the economy and create economic opportunities, especially for women and youth. But we must do more to skill and train our women especially young women, to becoming entrepreneurs and to start their own businesses. Women entrepreneurs are known to use profits from their business to improve their families' living conditions and lifestyle. More critically they also invest in their children's education which ensures that the cycle of poverty is broken.

Yes, we are doing it TOGETHER, because we know when women are empowered, families thrive, communities are safer and economies grow.  It is up to us to ensure that women empowerment becomes a reality. We dare not be happy with the status quo which excludes many women from the social and economic mainstream.  By working / going TOGETHER we can ensure a societal shift so that women can take their rightful place in becoming that ROCK, making a significant impact on socio-economic growth and development in our societies.

Ambassador Mmamokwena Gaoretelelwe


To read the Newsletter (30 September) from the Desk of the President of the Republic of South Africa, please click here

                                            To read the Newsletter (14 October) from the Desk of the President of the Republic of South Africa, please click here



Kindly click on the link in the poster to watch Minister Pandor giving remarks at the United Nations Security Council meeting on "Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organisations in maintaining international peace and security” on Wednesday 25th September 2019.

GUY BUTTERY and NIBS VAN DER SPUY perform at Espaço Espelho D'Água

South Africa musicians GUY BUTTERY and NIBS VAN DER SPUY will perform ZULU SOUND TALES at the Espaço Espelho D'Água, in Lisbon, on Saturday, 7 September, at 10 pm. Tickets cost 10,00 EUR and can be bought by contacting Tel: 213 010 510, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or at the venue.

For more information on Guy Buttery and Nibs Van Der Spuy click on the document files/Guy_Buttery__Nibs_Van_Der_Spuy.pdf



25 AUGUST 2019



Your Excellency, President Emmanuel Macron,

Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


This Summit’s focus on reducing inequality is particularly relevant for the G7 and Africa Partnership, because of the severe inequality between the countries of Africa and developed nations, and also because of the levels of inequality within Africa.

Inequality is detrimental to growth and development, and peace and security.

I would like to commend the leaders of the G7 for seeking to reorient its relationship with Africa to tackle these challenges.

Africa has reached an important milestone with the adoption by 55 countries of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).

This free trade area is now the largest on the globe, bringing together 1.2billion people with a combined GDP of $3 trillion.

This will lead to:

  • The creation of a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments
  • Expansion of intra-Africa trade, and
  • A more diverse, balanced and sustainable export base for African economies.

We are confident that this Free Trade Agreement will unleash Africa’s economic potential and consolidate its position as a new frontier of economic growth and development.

As a flagship of the AU’s agenda 2063, the trade opportunities will engender peace and stability on the continent.

In the context of South-North co-operation, we look forward to G7 countries joining us in a mutually beneficial partnership.

We expect that this Partnership will help Africa realise its potential, through investment and access to markets, capital, technology and skills.

Our focus at this Summit on the digital economy is equally important.

Through the cooperation we have envisaged here, we can work together to ensure digitisation reduces inequality and supports inclusive economic growth.

The African Union Commission is currently developing a comprehensive Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa that will provide a common, coordinated response to realise the digitisation of the continent. 

This will lay the basis for the development of infrastructure and the institutions we need to maximize the opportunities presented by the fourth industrial revolution.

It will also unleash the African spirit of enterprise and creativity and will generate more homegrown digital solutions and content.

We are therefore looking forward to developing concrete initiatives through the G7 Africa partnership that will support Agenda 2063 and the digital transformation of Africa.

I thank you.


August is South Africa Women's Month 2019

The South African Embassy in Lisbon will join millions of South Africans on 9 August to celebrate Women’s Day as part our country’s Women’s Month. We pay tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. A system meant to control women even further and reduce women to passive beings, at the mercy of men.

This year’s annual commemoration will be held under the theme: “25 Years of Democracy: Growing South Africa Together for Women’s Emancipation” and coincides with the country’s celebration of 25 Years of Freedom and Democracy. 

The Call-To-Action for this year’s campaign is “What Women Want” born out of the 2019 Women's Month theme and seeks to identify multifaceted issues affecting today’s women from all sectors, race, statures and age. Through this campaign, we want to encourage boldness in women, to state without any fear, what they really want. 

We therefor make a call to all women to share their perspectives on the gains, the gaps, the current struggles of women in this government and boldly state what they would want to see happening in order to realise the agenda of women equality by participating in the #WhatWomenWant campaign. You can participate by voicing out your perspectives on different social media platforms under the hashtag #WhatWomenWant. Upload your contribution by sharing a social media post, a mini video or a sound clip using the #.