Comunidados de Imprensa

Comunidados de Imprensa




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My fellow South Africans,
As we reflect on the year that now draws to a close, we see a world that is fundamentally different to anything we have known before.
There is no corner of the earth, nor any part of our country, that has been unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic.
It has devastated lives and destroyed livelihoods, caused great pain, and left many people hungry and destitute.
At the same time, it has brought our people together.
The pandemic has demonstrated our people’s great capacity for cooperation, solidarity and shared endeavour.
Globally, the countries of the world have worked together to share information and resources.
Our continent, under the leadership of the African Union, came together to develop a common response to this pandemic, and found an innovative way to ensure all countries have access to essential medical supplies.
We have gone out to the rest of the world to advocate for debt relief and to mobilise funds for Africa’s coronavirus response and for its economic recovery.
In the face of this unprecedented crisis, South Africans have demonstrated the true meaning of ‘ubuntu’.
We have taken responsibility for each other’s welfare, by donating our time, our energies and our resources.
Working together, we have mobilised the nation’s resources under difficult conditions and in a very short space of time to support poor families, protect jobs and keep businesses afloat.
It has been a year of uncertainty, pain, worry and loss.
Many people have been called upon to make huge sacrifices.
Many have been worried for their jobs, many have struggled to make a living,.
Nearly all South Africans have had to spend time separated from their loved ones.
As this year draws to a close, we mourn the loss of relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbours who succumbed to COVID-19.
As a nation, we mourn the loss of several eminent South Africans and people from all walks of life.
Even as we were struck by coronavirus, we had to confront another pandemic that has long plagued our nation.
We mourn the many women and children who lost their lives at the hands of men.
We think of the many more who have had to endure rape and beatings, abusive relationships and sexual harassment.
We think of the many children that have been injured and traumatised by adults – the very people who are responsible for their wellbeing and safety.
And yet, in the face of both these pandemics, South Africans have remained resolute, determined to overcome the coronavirus, and determined to end gender-based violence.
I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to every South African for the courage and the perseverance with which you have confronted this crisis.
I want to thank the health and social services workers for taking care of people who are ill, hungry or lonely.
Even as the New Year dawns, in hospitals and other health facilities across the nation, committed health workers are caring for the sick in the face of a severe resurgence of infections.
Throughout the year, they have worked tirelessly and at great risk to themselves to care for us and protect us.
We have a duty to protect them from harm and fatigue by acting responsibly, by ensuring that we do not become infected and that we do not infect others.
I also want thank the men and women in our law enforcement agencies and our Defence Force, who are keeping us safe from crime, violence and harm.
In the many ways that COVID-19 affected our lives this past year, one of the most challenging was the disruption caused to learning and teaching in our schools, colleges and universities.
The pandemic threatened the educational development of an entire generation of South Africans.
It is therefore with great admiration and much respect that I salute the learners and the students of 2020 for having continued with their studies under such difficult conditions.
In some instances, they have had to continue the academic year into 2021.
I want to thank the educators, lecturers, administrators and school governing bodies for having worked so hard to save the academic year and to ensure that the young people of our country progress and succeed.
We are grateful to the country’s religious leaders and traditional leaders for having suspended or limited many of their activities during the pandemic.
We are grateful to our sports people and administrators, to our artists and performers, and to all those who have been unable to continue their trade to prevent the spread of the disease.
I want to thank all Members of Parliament, Members of Provincial Legislatures, local government councillors and all public servants for having remained at their posts even at the most difficult moments of the pandemic – and for having continued throughout to serve the nation.
We enter a new year ready to rebuild our economy, to revive businesses and restore jobs, and to continue our drive for new investment.
Working together in partnership, we are undertaking an ambitious recovery plan
to build new roads and water projects, human settlements and power generation plants.
We have made important progress in vital economic reforms to ensure we have a secure supply of affordable energy; that we have cheaper, faster and more accessible broadband; and that our ports and railways are more efficient and more competitive.
We are creating public employment opportunities that contribute to the betterment of people’s lives, and providing greater support to the small businesses that drive growth and create jobs.
We are accelerating the redistribution of land and improving the support provided to beneficiaries.
Through this work, we are transforming our economy, enabling more black people, women and young people to participate in, and benefit from, activities from which they had previously been excluded.
Due to the disruption caused by the pandemic, we have had to learn to work, to learn, to trade and to socialise in new and different ways.
We have harnessed technology as never before to keep our economy working, and we need to use the great advances we have made to shape a new world of work that is more productive, more efficient and more focused on the needs of people.
We are just a few hours away from the birth of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which will fundamentally change the economic fortunes of our continent.
It is the start of a new era of trade between African countries, when the continent will produce the goods and services it needs, when its economies will grow, industrialise and diversify, when it will realise the great potential of its abundant natural resources.
I call on the entrepreneurs of our nation to seize the abundant opportunities that this historic development will present to explore new markets and build new partnerships.
This is an opportunity to empower the women of Africa through special trade arrangements, financial inclusion and preferential access to government and private sector procurement.
South Africa’s chairship of the African Union is now coming to an end, just as we also end our term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
Through these important bodies, we have championed the cause of peace and development not only in Africa, but across the world.
We have worked to strengthen the multilateral institutions that are so necessary for global cooperation and for the sustainable development of all.
The year ahead will be challenging and difficult.
We are in the midst of a second wave of coronavirus infections, which may be even worse than the first wave.
And while we are greatly encouraged by the progress made in developing an effective vaccine, we know that it will be some time before the pandemic ends.
The year ahead will therefore require our greatest effort and resilience.
The past year has shown what we are capable of when we are united and when we work together for the good of all.
It is this spirit that will carry us into the new year, and which will enable us to prevail and to prosper.
I wish you a happy and healthy 2021.
Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.


  Opening Remarks by Deputy Minister Botes on the occasion of the Virtual Meeting with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Portugal, 01 December 2020

Your Excellency, the Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Portugal, Ms Teresa Ribeiro,

The Ambassador of Portugal to South Africa, Ambassador Carvalho,

Distinguished Members of the South African and Portuguese Delegations,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to participate in these discussions to ensure that the strong and historic relationship between South Africa and Portugal continues to endure and that we can forge ahead with our work in these challenging times.

We are meeting during a very difficult time, a time when world is ravaged by the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). South Africa remains the epicentre of the corona virus on the continent, with more than 700 000 confirmed cases, and more than 20 000 deaths recorded.

We have witnessed our economies collapsing and our people dying. Many of our people have lost their jobs, as companies were forced to close. These has caused a major setback for our government, as we strive to create employment for our people in order to emancipate them from the scourge of poverty, and to bridge the inequalities we inherited from our dark past. I believe that if we work together and utilise the bilateral and multilateral fora at our disposal, we shall overcome. We shall rebuild our economies and forge new frontiers. One of our main priorities is to strengthen our health systems to better protect humanity.

We had so many big plans for 2020. We were looking forward to hosting President De Sousa for the Portugal National Day Celebrations in June 2020, as he had communicated to President Ramaphosa when they met in Mozambique earlier this year. I was also looking forward to travelling to Portugal, to preside jointly with you, over the Seventh SA - Portugal Annual Bilateral Consultations. I believe that once the COVID-19 storm is over, we can still plan for these significant events to materialise or we should look at the feasibility of a virtual meeting in this regard.

Madame Secretary, as you are aware, South Africa currently is the chair of the African Union, and our priority is for peace and security to reign on this beautiful continent. The year 2020 is dedicated to ending all forms of conflicts, as highlighted in the Silencing of the Guns by 2020 Roadmap. We will forge ahead with the implementation of the Continental Free Trade Agreement, whilst creating opportunities for women to play a significant role in their economies. It is the right of women and girls to be full and equal participants in the workplace, in political life and decision-making and in obtaining an education.

We remain concerned with the security situations in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Mali, and Libya, and we believe that the regional economic communities and the African Union are equipped to address these situations.

In his virtual address during the 76th Session of the UN debate, President Ramaphosa reaffirmed South Africa’s commitment to multilateralism. Throughout our tenure as a non- permanent member of the UNSC, we will continue to champion the peaceful settlement of dispute, highlight the plight of women and children, and the reform of the UN.

As Portugal will be assuming Presidency of the European Union Council in the first half of 2021, I am confident that Africa will be one of your focus. I am looking forward to hearing more about your priorities and your plans regarding Africa. You can count on South Africa’s support in enhancing the EU - AU partnership.

I thank you for your initiative for this call and hope we will have a productive discussion today.


OR Tambo Building

460 Soutpansberg Road



















3 December 2020

My fellow South Africans,

I wish to speak to you this evening about the current state of the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa.

Before doing so, I wish to express my appreciation to all South Africans who observed the five days of mourning from the 25th to the 29th of November for those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 and gender-based violence and femicide.

As we remember them, let us pledge that we will do everything within our means to contain these two pandemics and save lives.

The global pandemic continues to cause devastation across the world, with more than 64 million infections and nearly one-and-a-half million confirmed deaths.

We have seen many countries around the world experience a resurgence of the coronavirus, some with second waves even worse than their initial peak.

Where South Africa once had the fifth highest number of infections in the world, we have now fallen to 14th in the world as infections in other countries have surged dramatically.

And yet, despite the progress we have made, we have always known that a second wave of infections is possible in South Africa if we do not take the necessary measures to protect ourselves and those around us.

There is now clear evidence of a resurgence of infections in parts of our own country, which, if not confronted decisively and directly, could lead to great suffering and death.
This pandemic has already taken a heavy toll on our country.

A total of 800,872 people are confirmed to have been infected by the virus in South Africa since March.

Around 92 per cent of these people have recovered.

As of today, 21,803 people are known to have died from COVID-19 in South Africa.

For nearly 100 days, since the middle of August, we managed to keep the rate of new infections stable, at below 2,000 new cases a day.

However, that has changed in the last three weeks.

There has been a marked rise in new infections and an increase in the number of people being admitted to hospital.

In the first week of November, we were recording an average of 1,500 new cases a day.

By the last week of November, this had almost doubled to an average of around 2,900 new cases a day.

Yesterday, South Africa recorded over 4,400 new infections, the largest daily increase in infections since the middle of August.

The total number of hospital admissions is now over 5,800 nationally and is increasing.

Three weeks ago hospital admissions were 4,900.

There are three areas of the country that account for most of these new infections.

These are Nelson Mandela Bay and the Sarah Baartman District in the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route District in the Western Cape.

Hospital admissions in these districts are on the rise, in some instances comparable to those during the first wave of infections.

In the Eastern Cape and Western Cape there has been an increase in both reported COVID-19 deaths and excess deaths.

This must be a concern for every one of us.

There are a number of reasons for the rise in transmission.

Many people are travelling between provinces and within each province in higher numbers, especially with the festive season approaching.

In the case of the Garden Route, this also applies to the movement of seasonal workers who work in one province and live in another province.

Social, cultural and religious gatherings are being held in large numbers.

In many cases these gatherings are often attended by many more people than what is permitted under Level 1 restrictions. What is concerning is that these are also often held in venues with poor ventilation.

This is particularly the case for funerals, which are often followed by large so-called “after tears” parties.

Several hospitals in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro have reported a rise in alcohol-related trauma admissions.

As we have said in the past these alcohol-related trauma admissions divert capacity that is needed to deal with Covid-related cases.

But by far the greatest contributing cause of infections is that many people are not wearing masks, and are not observing proper hygiene and social distancing.

As I said during our last family meeting, at alert level 1, we have the measures we need to control the virus.

But our main problem is that there are parts of the country where people are not complying with the current restrictions and the basic prevention measures are not being followed.

The most urgent task before us right now is to contain the rise in infections in the affected districts in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, and to ensure that a similar situation does not develop in other parts of the country.

To prevent this we are putting into motion the resurgence plan that we developed with the World Health Organization’s surge team.

We are making more capacity available at hospitals and clinics in these areas.

We are expanding public health interventions such as testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine.

We are also stepping up our awareness campaigns around public health regulations.

Fellow South Africans,

We must change our behaviour now to prevent a resurgence of the virus and manage outbreaks wherever they occur.

If we think of this pandemic like a bush fire, we need to quickly extinguish the flare ups before they turn into an inferno.

At the same time, we need to do all we can to keep the economy open and to push ahead with our reconstruction and recovery effort.

In line with our differentiated approach to the management of the pandemic, we will therefore implement additional measures in those areas identified as coronavirus hotspots.

When identifying a hotspot, consideration is given to the number of new COVID-19 cases per day, the testing rate within the population, the percentage positivity rate within the population, the number of active cases, the number of hospital admissions and the number of deaths.

Following a recommendation of the National Coronavirus Command Council and after consultation with Premiers, metro mayors and traditional leaders, Cabinet has decided to declare the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality a coronavirus hotspot.

In addition to the existing Alert Level 1 regulations, the following additional restrictions will apply in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro with effect from midnight tonight:

– The hours of the curfew will be from 10pm and 4am.

This means that – except for emergencies – no person may be outside their place of residence between those times.

This does not apply to essential workers who are permitted to work during those hours.

– The sale of alcohol from retail outlets will only be permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Thursday.

– Alcohol consumption in public spaces, such as beaches and parks, is strictly forbidden. This is necessary to prevent large social gatherings.

– Gatherings – including religious gatherings – may not be attended by more than 100 people for indoor events and 250 for outdoor events.

At all times, the total number of people in a venue may not exceed more than 50% of the capacity of the venue.

– Finally, all post-funeral gatherings are prohibited.

These additional measures are necessary to contain the resurgence in Nelson Mandela Bay, to prevent outbreaks resulting from social gatherings and to protect the capacity of the healthcare system to provide care to those who need it.

In determining these restrictions, we have sought to take those steps which are absolutely necessary to save lives while limiting disruptions to the economy.

Following extensive consultation with traditional leaders, we have agreed that the summer initiation season in the Eastern Cape may go ahead.

This is because traditional leaders in the Eastern Cape have submitted a risk adjusted plan that has been approved by Departments of Health and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

This plan includes strict adherence to health protocols, including screening of initiates, the provision of personal protective equipment and the provision of water for hygiene and to prevent dehydration.

However, due to the high rates of infection in the metro, no initiation schools will be allowed in Nelson Mandela Bay.

The measures that are being taken in Nelson Mandela Bay are not meant to punish its residents.

They are not intended to increase the hardship experienced by our citizens.

These measures are needed to contain the spread of the virus and to save lives.
In the coming days the Minister of Health will be visiting the Sarah Baartman District and the Garden Route to assess the situation and to engage with various stakeholders in the province.

Based on this assessment and the development of the disease in these areas, the National Coronavirus Command Council will determine the appropriate course of action.

To ensure that we maintain the current prevention measures, the National State of Disaster will be extended to the 15th of January 2021 in line with the Disaster Management Act.

All existing Level 1 restrictions remain in force throughout the country.

We have all the tools we need to prevent a resurgence in the rest of the country.

We can only do this if everyone plays their part.

We can only prevent a second wave if all of us respect the rules that have been put in place for the protection of everyone.

For the safety of all of us, those who break the rules must face consequences.

We have instructed law enforcement officials to ensure compliance with the law, by owners, controllers and managers of workplaces, shops, institutions and buildings to ensure social distancing and wearing of masks.

Taxi operators are also required to ensure that all their passengers wear masks.

In addition, each one of us will be required to comply with the curfew times.

Together with the measures to contain a resurgence in hotspot areas, the national effort continues to strengthen public health interventions such as community screening, increased testing, contact tracing and communication on behavioural change.

As we have said in the past the only viable defence we will have against Covid-19 will be the vaccine.

There are now many initiatives in the world to speed up the development of a vaccine.

We continue to collaborate with our partners in the international community to ensure that all countries have access to an effective and affordable vaccine.

We are participating in the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Global Vaccine Access Facility – known as the Covax facility – which aims to pool resources and share vaccine development risk and thus ensure equitable access to vaccines when they become available.

We are encouraged that the Solidarity Fund will be making the initial contribution of R327 million towards this vaccine procurement on behalf of our country.

We are also encouraged by the promising results from three trials of candidate vaccines, which have shown efficacy levels of between 70 and 95 per cent.

We await confirmation from medicine regulators that these vaccines are safe, effective and suitable for our needs.

In South Africa, our own Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) will review the approval applications when received from the developers and authorise their use.

But let us remember that until a vaccine is developed and distributed, we remain our own best protection against COVID-19.

It is through our everyday actions that we will keep ourselves and others safe.

It is through wearing a mask in public at all times.

It is by observing social distancing and avoiding large gatherings and indoor spaces where ventilation is poor.

It is through regularly washing or sanitising our hands.

We can also protect ourselves by downloading the Covid Alert SA mobile app that can notify us if we are exposed to the virus and thereby help to break the chain of transmission.

It is extremely encouraging that the Covid Alert SA app has now been downloaded by a million South Africans.

If there is anything this pandemic has taught us, it is the danger of becoming complacent.

Across the world, countries with declining infections have eased restrictions only to experience a second, even more severe wave, forcing them to reimpose restrictions on movement, gatherings and economic activity.

If there was ever a time for caution, it is now.

The festive season is approaching.

Schools and places of higher learning have closed for the summer holidays.

Many of you are winding down at work and will soon be at home with your families.

Many of you are preparing to travel to reunite with friends and relatives.

Travel carries great risks, which we can reduce by avoiding unnecessary travel.

We can also reduce infection risk by wearing a mask in public transport, keeping the vehicle windows open and maintaining prevention measures on arrival.

The summer season is traditionally a time for social gatherings, attending festivals and events, and socialising at weddings, religious gatherings and in both public and private spaces.

These social gatherings can be ‘super-spreader’ events that carry a huge risk of transmission of the virus.

Each of us needs to ensure we take precautions to avoid spreading the virus to our families, especially our elders.

We should keep gatherings small, have them outside or in well ventilated venues, ensure social distancing and wear masks as much as possible.

We must remember that as much as we want to relax, this virus does not take a holiday.

This has been a difficult year for us as a country.

It has severely tested our resolve and demanded great sacrifices of each and every one of us.

But even as the holidays approach, we cannot let our guard down.

Unless we take personal responsibility for our health and the health of others, more people are going to become infected. More people are going to die.

Over the last 8 months, many people have lost parents, siblings, spouses, friends and colleagues to COVID-19.

As a nation, we have lost many brave frontline workers who were caring for those in hospitals and clinics.

We have lost essential services workers who helped to keep this country running during the lockdown.

We have lost teachers who went to school every day to support our children and to ensure our matriculants were able to write their final exams.

We owe it to all those whose lives have been so tragically cut short by this deadly virus not to let the same suffering and pain be visited on even more families.

We owe it to our own friends and relatives and those around us.

We owe it to our country, because a resurgence of the virus would be a severe setback to our economic recovery, to our efforts to restore and create jobs, and to our provision of services to the people.

Most of all we owe it to ourselves and each other, because this affects us all.

Tonight we stand in solidarity with the people of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro as they work to contain this outbreak.

I have the utmost confidence that the leadership of the Eastern Cape is doing and will do all that is necessary to bring the rate of infection down once again.

I call on each and every one of you to remember those whose lives have been lost and the precious lives we have still to save.

Over the past eight months, we succeeded in bringing the virus under control by acting together.

We fought this pandemic with everything that we had.

Through our combined efforts, we saved many thousands of lives which would otherwise have been needlessly lost.

Now, as the number of infections begins to rise again, we cannot sacrifice the gains that we made.

We cannot return to the darker days of June and July, when transmission of the virus was widespread and the lives of our family and friends were at risk.

Just as we know that a second wave is possible, we know too that it is not inevitable.

So tonight, I am asking you to recommit yourself to this fight.

We can still prevent the virus from spreading any further if we take the appropriate steps now.

Just as we did in the early days of the pandemic, let us stand together and let us work together.

We will get through this period of difficulty as we did the ones before.

May God Bless South Africa and protect her people.

I thank you.











A Association of Women Ambassadors in Lisbon, mais vulgarmente designada por AWA, é um grupo informal de embaixadoras acreditadas em Portugal com embaixadas em Lisboa, e das representantes diplomáticas do Gabinete do Presidente da República e do Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros. Das 86 embaixadas residentes em Lisboa, 23 são chefiadas por mulheres: UCRÂNIA, ÍNDIA, ROMÉNIA, ÁFRICA DO SUL, FILIPINAS, PERU, SUÉCIA, CUBA, PARAGUAI, HOLANDA, ESTÓNIA, CANADÁ, ESPANHA, BÉLGICA, TURQUIA, COLÔMBIA, FRANÇA, AUSTRÁLIA, CROÁCIA, TIMOR-LESTE, TAILÂNDIA, FINLÂNDIA e NORUEGA.*.

Enquanto Embaixadoras, a nossa missão é a de promover os nossos países em Portugal e desenvolver as relações bilaterais com Portugal nas esferas política, económica, cultural e interpessoal. Os nossos interesses nacionais variam, visto que representamos vários países de todo o mundo, mas partilhamos temas comuns. Cada uma de nós, por exemplo, representa um país que acredita na igualdade de género entre homens e mulheres, nos direitos fundamentais das mulheres e jovens mulheres e que estas devem viver livres de violência. E é por isso que participamos na campanha pela Eliminação da Violência Contra as Mulheres.

As estatísticas sobre a violência contra as mulheres são claras. De acordo com as Nações Unidas, uma em cada três mulheres e jovens mulheres sofrerá violência física ou sexual durante a sua vida. Todos os dias, 137 mulheres são mortas por um membro da sua família. Em todo o mundo, 15 milhões de meninas adolescentes, com idades entre 15 e 19 anos, foram sujeitas a sexo forçado. Quando paramos para considerar que o número de vítimas adolescentes é maior do que o de toda a população de Portugal, entendemos com grande preocupação a dimensão do problema. E a pandemia da COVID-19 exacerbou esta violência. Desde o início da crise, os dados mostram um aumento nas chamadas para as linhas de apoio à violência doméstica, em muitos países.

A violência pode assumir muitas formas. Cerca de 71% de todas as vítimas do tráfico humano mundial são mulheres e meninas, das quais três em cada quatro são exploradas sexualmente. A ONU também observa que, pelo menos 200 milhões de mulheres e meninas, com idades entre 15 e 49 anos, sofreram mutilação genital feminina, em 31 países onde a prática está concentrada.

Apesar desta evidência esmagadora da violência contra as mulheres, muitas vezes é fácil ignorar o problema, fingir que não se vê ou pensar que é um problema entre casais e que deverá ser resolvido a portas fechadas. Mas essa visão está a mudar. Mulheres e meninas têm todo o direito de viver sem medo da violência, de desfrutar dos mesmos direitos fundamentais que todas as outras pessoas.

Por isso, é importante que cada uma de nós faça a sua parte para sensibilizar e acabar com a violência contra as mulheres.

Entre colegas embaixadoras conversamos e sabemos que individualmente as suas embaixadas organizaram outras iniciativas de sensibilização e para #orangetheworld. Este cartaz representa um esforço coletivo da parte de 23 países para um mesmo propósito: a defesa da igualdade de género, a capacitação das mulheres e jovens meninas e a promoção e proteção dos direitos humanos.

Estamos unidas para fazer as nossas vozes serem ouvidas. Temos a sorte de viver e trabalhar em Portugal, um país que partilha da nossa crença na necessidade de combater a violência contra as mulheres e agradecemos os esforços dos vários participantes da sociedade portuguesa, tais como o governo, os meios de comunicação e organizações da sociedade civil, na chamada de atenção para este tema. Esperamos que juntos possamos continuar a agir para acabar com a violência contra as mulheres. ( fim)

Lisboa, 27 de Novembro, 2020

*Esta ordem tem por base a data da Apresentação das Credenciais da Embaixadora do país junto do Presidente da República.