Press Releases

Press Releases

Children from Cova da Moura celebrate International Nelson Mandela Day 2017 at the Pavilhão do Conhecimento Science Museum

In partnership with the Moinho da Juventude Cultural Association and the Pavilhão do Conhecimento Science Museum, the South African Embassy  this year celebrated International Nelson Mandela Day by taking a group of 46 children from the Cova da Moura neighbourhood in Amadora on an educational visit to the Museum.  On the bus to the Museum., the children were reminded of Nelson Mandela’s legacy and message, particularly his emphasis on education. Separate programmes were prepared according to the different age groups, which ranged between 3 and 16.  The group was welcomed by the Museum’s President, , Dr. Rosália Vargas and other members of the staff. During the three hours that the children spent at the Museum, they had the opportunity to try different science experiments and explore various exhibits.  Mid-morning, the children were provided with a snack consisting of a sandwich, juice and cereal bar. 

All the participants, including teachers and representatives from the Moinho da Juventude Cultural Association, were very satisfied with the special event that was provided to children who often have few opportunities to do activities outside their neighbourhood, particularly during the summer school break. Embassy staff also enjoyed this opportunity to dedicate a few hours of service to the community in honour of Madiba’s legacy, specifically with a focus on education and learning, which Mandela said was the most powerful weapon to help change the world!

The Mission wishes to convey its deepest appreciation to the Pavilhão do Conhecimento Science Museum and Moinho da Juventude Cultural Association for their energetic support and cooperation with this initiative.  Thank you also to the Portuguese-South-African Chamber of Commerce and Trade (CCILSA) and Padaria Portuguesa for their assistance with supporting the event and making it possible.  As Madiba used to say:“ it always seems impossible until it is done!”

Minister Naledi Pandor granted Doctor Honoris Causa by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon

Portuguese Minister for Science, Technology and Highed Education, Manuel Heitor, presented Honoris Causa doctoral title to South African Minister for Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor,  at Nova University in Lisbon(July 2017):

" It is my privilege to present today Naledi Pandor for her Doctor Honoris Causa at NOVA (Universidade Nova de Lisboa).

The honorary doctorate is an honorific title granted to distinguish a learned person whose knowledge and wisdom was considered exemplary and today we have the privilege to have with us one of those unique world leaders in education and science policy. And I ́m particularly proud that an outstanding person, such as Nadeli Pandor, has been "recruited" among the faculty of NOVA.

Naledi Pandor has been unique in fostering an inclusive approach to science, technology and economic development, bringing to the centre of our attention all of those in the “margins” of knowledge driven societies and knowledge-based economic activities.


Today, with the Doctor Honoris Causa of Nadeli Pandor, we are launching a new era of scientific collaboration between South Africa and Portugal."

For further information:

Youth Day 2017

June is celebrated as Youth Month in South Africa, with a specific focus on 16 June, which is also known as Youth Day. Youth Month pays tribute to the school pupils who lost their lives during the 16 June 1976 uprising in Soweto.

This year marks the 41st anniversary of the Soweto uprisings.

On 16 June 1976, more than 15 000 students gathered at Orlando West Secondary School with the intention of participating in a peaceful march to the nearby Orlando Stadium.

The demonstration had been planned in protest against the use of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction at schools.

However, the police and armed forces responded to the protest violently and the first fatality of the day was Hector Pieterson, a 12 year old pupil who was shot by the police. It is believed that 175 others were also killed that day.

This violent backlash to what was meant to be a peaceful march caught the attention of the international community. After this event, many countries imposed sanctions on South Africa in an attempt to force the apartheid government to ease its repressive rule.

Follow us on Twitter @GovernmentZA and @GCISMedia; join the conversation using the #YouthMonth #YouthDay.

The "Belém Statement on Atlantic Research and Innovation Cooperation"

EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, hosted a high level ministerial event in Lisbon on 12-14 July 2017, entitled “A New Era of Blue Enlightenment”, to celebrate the achievements made under the leadership of Brazil and South Africa, together with the EU Member States, to develop scientific cooperation in the South and Tropical Atlantic as well as the Southern Ocean.

The event was the occasion to bring together the key political leaders and stakeholders from the EU Member States, Brazil and South Africa. It also provided the opportunity to showcase the first results of the Horizon 2020 Blue Growth projects aimed at the Atlantic basin, and other national initiatives of the EU Member States alongside and across the Atlantic Ocean.

The "Belém Statement on Atlantic Research and Innovation Cooperation" was co-signed by Commissioner Moedas, on behalf of the European Union, by South African Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor, on behalf of South Africa Government and by Gilberto Kassab, Minister of State for Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications, on behalf of the Government of Brazil.


Download this file (Belém Statement.pdf)Belém Statement.pdf


29 APRIL 2017

President Jacob Zuma has signed the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (FICA) bill into law.

The Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act, assented by the President, amends the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001. The 2001 Act and other related Acts aim to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The President is now satisfied that the Act addresses the constitutional concerns he had raised about warrantless searches.

These amendments to the Financial Intelligence Amendment Act further strengthen the transparency and integrity of the South African financial system in its objectives to combat financial crimes, which include tax evasion, money laundering and the financing of terrorism and illicit financial flows. The amendments also make it harder for persons who are involved in illegitimate activities or tax evasion to hide behind legal entities like shell companies and trusts.

Measures to strengthen anti-money laundering and the combating of terrorist financing regulatory framework in the Amendment Act include-

· requiring the identification of beneficial owners to prevent natural persons from misusing legal entities for nefarious purposes like evading tax;

· enhancing the customer due diligence requirements that will ensure that entities fully understand the nature and potential risk posed by their customers;

· providing for the adoption of a risk based approach in the identification and assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risks, and assist in making customer compliance easier;

· providing for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions relating to the freezing of assets relating to persons associated with terrorism;

· safeguarding information in line with the Protection of Personal Information;

· providing for inspection powers for regulatory compliance purposes in accordance with the Constitution; and

· enhancing certain administrative and enforcement mechanisms.

The Amendment Act sends a strong message about South Africa’s commitment to combating financial crime, protecting the integrity of our financial system and our tax base, and remaining part of the global financial system. They further demonstrate South Africa’s membership commitments to the Financial Action Task Force and United Nations.  


Enquiries: Dr Bongani Ngqulunga on 082 308 9373 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Issued by: The Presidency