Foreign media explore South African innovation projects



Johannesburg, 7 November 2013 – Foreign correspondents based in South Africa who are being hosted on a Brand South Africa media tour aimed at profiling the country’s innovation, will today visit the iThemba Labs in Cape Town where nuclear medicine will be profiled.

The tour is aimed at profiling South Africa’s innovation, and coincided with the country’s inaugural Competitiveness Forum, which took place at Gallagher Estate in Gauteng on Tuesday 5 November. The South African Competitiveness Forum brought together leaders in government, business and civil society, to discuss the factors that impact on South Africa’s global competitiveness.


On Monday 4 November 2013, the group held discussions with the Auditor General’s office, the Association of Public Accounts Committees, the Innovation Hub and SpringAge.

Later in the day they visited Mobile Money, for a fist-hand look at innovation in the financial services industry – bringing banking services to the unbanked using only a valid mobile number to transfer money.


Journalists also visited the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria on Wednesday 6 November 2013. The CSIR conducts ground-breaking work in science, engineering and technology. At the site, journalists were briefed about world-first digital laser technology, which is being tested by scientists at the CSIR.

The delegation also visited Pretoria’s Innovation Hub, which is a science and technology park which supports innovation and the competitiveness of businesses and knowledge-based institutions. At the park, journalists were taken on a tour of Sappi’s Technology Centre and the manufacturer’s pulping and bleaching processes, as well as research and development initiatives.

Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola commented on the significance of the media tour, saying it is important that South Africans shape the narrative we want told about our country: “South Africa scores highly on international indices, in the areas of innovation and business creativity. We are making great strides in the fields of science and technology, attested to the projects being showcased during this week. The inspiring work being carried out by young South Africans in the medical, science and technology fields will assist us to achieve the objectives set out in the National Development Plan at all levels. Through this we can reshape our narrative and our developmental trajectory,” Mr Matola said.

In Cape Town, the delegation will visit various innovation projects and sites, including: iThemba Labs, Robben Island, the Cape Town Port and explore the wine route.

About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness abroad. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

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