|| issue 2, year XVII, 2010
MARTHINUS VAN SCHALKWYK, MINISTER OF TOURISM OF SOUTH AFRICA
Exclusively for Europe 2001 Magazine
H.E. MS. SHEILA CAMERER, AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA TO BULGARIA: SOUTH AFRICA LAYS GREAT STORE BY BULGARIA;S STRATEGIC POSITION
Interview by Valentin Kostov
SOUTH AFRICA: A COUNTRY PROFILE
BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA
By the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria;
Middle East and Africa Department
Interest Offices between South Africa and Bulgaria were opened initially in November 1990 and full diplomatic relations were established on 2 February 1992. Bulgaria has an embassy in Pretoria. South Africa has an embassy in Sofia. H.E. Ms. Sheila Camerer is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of South Africa to Bulgaria.
The two countries cooperate in the spheres of economy, trade, culture, education and sports but the relationships need to be expanded. One of the most important political visits of a South African official to Bulgaria is the one of the current South African President Jacob Zuma in 2000 when he was Deputy President.
Approximately 15-20 000 Bulgarians currently live in South Africa, while South African students study in Bulgarian universities.
THE MIGHTIEST ECONOMY IN AFRICA
By Maria Angelova
South Africa has the mightiest economy in Africa. The country is richly endowed with mineral resources. Mining is an important contributor to the country;s economic growth. South Africa is the world;s biggest platinum producer, 2nd biggest diamond producer and 3rd biggest gold producer.
South Africa is the world;s 8th largest producer of wine and 12th largest producer of sunflower seed.
Trade relations with the European Union are pivotal to South Africa;s economic development, as the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement with the EU forms a substantial element of South Africa;s reconstruction efforts.
South Africa;s prudent financial sector regulations and macro economic policy framework have partly protected it from the effects of the global financial crisis. However, in December 2008 Government, Business and Labour met to consider how South Africa should respond to the more difficult economic conditions and approved a number of measures, including investment in public infrastructure, macro economic, trade, employment and social measures.
Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party;s apartheid policies after 1948. On June 12, 1964 he was sentenced to life imprisonment. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town; thereafter, he was at Pollsmoor Prison, nearby on the mainland.
During his years in prison, Nelson Mandela;s reputation grew steadily. He was widely accepted as the most significant black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of resistance. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.
Nelson Mandela was released on February 11, 1990. He went straight from prison to the negotiating table. He negotiated the dismantling of the apartheid regime in South Africa, settled an agreement on universal suffrage and democratic elections, and became the first black president of the country in 1994. The deed and document of his ideology is the 1996 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, one of the most modern and radical in the world regarding human rights.
SOUTH AFRICA;S HISTORY
By Veneta Gencheva
People have inhabited southern Africa for thousands of years. Members of the Khoisan language groups (Bushmen and Hottentots) are the oldest surviving inhabitants of the land.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach the Cape of Good Hope, arriving in 1488. However, permanent white settlement did not begin until 1652 when the Dutch East India Company established a provisioning station on the Cape. In subsequent decades, French Huguenot refugees, the Dutch, and Germans began to settle in the Cape. Then the country became a British colony for some 150 years.
In terms of its recent history the country is best known for its emergence from the oppressive system of apartheid, which was based on white minority rule and institutionalised racism. Two central figures from that era of South Africa;s history, although by no means the only important ones, are Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk.
LANGUAGE RICHNESS OF SOUTH AFRICA
By Veneta Gencheva
The official languages of South Africa are 11 - Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, si Swati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isi Ndebele, isi Xhosa, isi Zulu. Section 6 (1) of the Constitution of South Africa states that "all official languages must enjoy parity of esteem and must be treated equitably".
A JOURNEY TO SOUTH AFRICA
There are nine spectacular provinces for you to explore in South Africa - nine incredible diverse parts of the country that will open up your sense of possibility in ways you never thought possible. The incredible diversity is a key attraction - from the Green Kalahari to the lush green forests of Tsitsikamma to the unspoilt beaches of the Wild Coast to the vibrant nightlife of Cape Town. Come and experience the hospitality of the people wherever you go and get in touch with the wide variety of fascinating cultures and local traditions. South Africans are ready to show you the country;s natural wonders, draw you into the rhythm and soul of Africa, give you close encounters with the regal wildlife and take you on an unforgettable journey through the ancient and recent past of the country.
TSITSIKAMMA NATIONAL PARK
"The Garden of the Garden Route" welcomes you to the area the ancient San people called the "place of many waters."
In Tsitsikamma National Park visitors will see booming breakers of the Indian Ocean relentlessly pound rocky shores, temperate high forest and Fynbos (indigenous plants) rolling down to the sea in an unspoilt verdant carpet. Age old rivers carve their way to the sea and wonderful marine creatures swim along the shore.
The boundary of the Tsitsikamma National Park stretches some 5km out to sea, protecting a wonderland of inter-tidal life, reef and deep-sea fish.
THE ELEGANT PRETORIA
Known as the Jacaranda City for all the purple blossom-bedecked trees, which line its thoroughfares, the capital of South Africa is a lovely, quiet and elegant city.
Pretoria was founded in 1855 and was named after the Boer leader Andries Pretorius.
Since the first free and common elections in South Africa in 1994 the Union Building in Pretoria has been the residence of the presidency and the home to the official seat of the South African Government. The Transvaal Museum of Natural History is situated in the city center, its entrance dominated by dinosaur skeletons. Exhibits include hominid fossils from the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.
Durban, with the Zulu name eThekwini, forms part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality and is Africa;s and South Africa;s biggest port. It is the largest city in KwaZulu Natal and the second largest city in South Africa. It is also a major centre of tourism, due to Durban;s warm subtropical climate, sea and beaches. Durban hosted a semi-final match of the World Cup at its new spectacular Moses Mabhida Stadium, one of the most beautiful in the world.
CAPE TOWN AND THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE
Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town was originally developed by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for Dutch ships sailing to Eastern Africa, India, and the Far East. Jan van Riebeeck;s arrival on
6 April 1652 established the first permanent European settlement in South Africa.
Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as "the fairest cape in all the world". The city houses the Kirstenbosch botanical garden, the Castle of Good Hope built in 1652-3 and the biggest aquarium in Africa - the Two Oceans Aquarium, situated at the meeting point of the Indian and the Atlantic Ocean, and is the center of the South African wine industry.
THE SEVEN WONDERS OF JOHANNESBURG
By Venelin Sapundjiev
The author explores some of the main attractions of Johannesburg - the biggest city in South Africa and the province of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa. Johannesburg is one of the most modern and prosperous cities in South Africa.
Soccer City Stadium, one of the top 5 in the world, in Johannesburg underwent a major upgrade for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and hosted the final.
To the main attractions of Johannesburg the author adds the cosmopolitan atmosphere and the warmth of the local people.
BLOEMFONTEIN - FOUNTAINS OF FLOWERS
Bloemfontein (Dutch for "spring of Bloem (bloom)", "flower spring" or "fountain of flowers") is the capital city of the Free State Province of South Africa. Bloemfontein is poetically known as "the city of roses", owing to the abundance of these flowers and the annual rose festival held there. The city;s Sesotho name is Mangaung, meaning "place of cheetahs".
The Free State Stadium and the surrounding sports complex is the main sports venue in the city and province. The venue was the hosting stadium of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa matches played in Bloemfontein.
RUHR 2010: EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE
By Maria Angelova
The Ruhr Metropolis has a unique advantage when it comes to being a European Capital of Culture: its potential is greatly underestimated. The outside world generally associated the region with a declining coal and steel industries and greatly damaged landscape. Only rarely it is thought of as a centre of culture. The Ruhr Metropolis has more culture on offer within its relatively small geographical area than any other region in Europe: 120 theatres, 100 concert halls, 200 museums and over 1,000 industrial monuments, many of which have become attractive cultural sites.
SOUTH AFRICAN RHYTHM
The article presents three prominent South African musicians - Miriam Makeba, the late South African singer and civil rights activist; Johnny Clegg, a singer, a songwriter, a dancer and a musical activist whose crossover music is a blend of Western pop and African Zulu rhythms; and Abdullah Ibrahim, formerly known as Dollar Brand, an iconic South African pianist and composer, whose music reflects many musical influences ranging from traditional African songs to Western styles.
ARTS IN SOUTH AFRICA
This is an article presenting four prominent South African artists - Irma Stern, whose works fetch the highest prices internationally at any SA artists; Gerard Sekoto, recognized as the pioneer of urban black art and social realism; William Kentridge, perhaps South Africa;s internationally best known contemporary artist currently; and Dylan Lewis, who has emerged as one of the foremost figures in contemporary sculpture today.
TRADITIONS OF THE "RAINBOW NATION"
The traditions, customs and cuisine of South Africa are as diverse as its people. Every nation in the country has its own particular traditions.
Many festivals take place annually in South Africa, including film, theatre, traditional and music festivals.
South African wines are very popular because their quality is very good. South Africa;s wine tourism is highly developed with a myriad of wine routes and excellent wine tasting facilities at a large number of wine estates, all within easy reach of Cape Town.
SPORTS AND SOUTH AFRICANS
By Maria Angelova
Sport in South Africa transcends race, politics, and language groups. It unites the country by acting as a powerful nation-building tool. In 2010 South Africa hosted the biggest sport event in the world - the 2010 FIFA World Cup TM.
Other very popular kinds of sport in South Africa, save for football, are cricket, rugby, golf, swimming, boxing, athletics, marathon, biking, motor racing.
FAMOUS PEOPLE FROM SOUTH AFRICA
JAN VAN RIEBEECK
KING SHAKA ZULU
FREDERIK WILLEM DE KLERK
STEFAN STEFANOV: VIBRATIONS OF COLOURS
By Dochka Kisyova-Gogova
THE SACRAL ART OF DANIEL DYANKOV
By Ognyan Stamboliev
|Translated by Maria Angelova