German car manufacturer Volkswagen to invest R4.5 billion in South Africa
On August 27, Volkswagen Group South Africa announced plans to invest over R4.5 billion for new models to be produced at the Uitenhage factory by 2017. At a media briefing in Sandton Mr Thomas Schaefer Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) announced the next phase of major new investments in the factory in Uitenage, its supplier base and the training of employees for the next generation of products to be manufactured in South Africa.
On August 6, a new visa application centre for the German Embassy was officially opened in Bloemfontein. Travellers from the Free State, Lesotho and surrounding areas will no longer be required to travel to Pretoria to submit applications. The convenience of the location will also facilitate the application process for the many businesses with ties to Germany.
Affected are those who were born outside of the limits of the Federal Republic of Germany and whose parents were also born abroad after the December 31st of 1999, if their habitual residence is not Germany. Children with these characteristics will not automatically obtain German nationality by birth anymore. Exceptions to this general rule are possible in cases of imminent statelessness.
Over half of South Africa’s population is under the age of 25. The ability to provide these young people with adequate skills and work opportunities will be decisive for the country’s future. Germany supports South Africa in its efforts to turn this situation around. Vocational education and training and skills development is one of the focal areas within the South African-German development cooperation.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier opened the annual Ambassadors Conference on August 24 in Berlin. The conference is being held for the 14th time and addresses the many crises around the globe, threats to the traditional structures of the world order and what a future or new order holds for Germany.
The German Foreign Office has invited creative people around the world to design large-format puzzle pieces. Under the title “Together for Unity” the pieces will be fitted together to form maps of reunited Germany. In South Africa the jigsaw pieces will be designed by various partner organizations and children from German schools and South African partner schools.
The number of 15-24 year-old citizens in Germany who are neither working nor in training is the lowest in the EU, official data for 2014 show. German companies have recently launched the pan-European 'InCharge' initiative to motivate and enable unemployed young Europeans to train and find a job in Germany.
The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) has launched a call for proposals of joint research projects between scientists in Germany and Africa investigating infectious diseases and their social implications. Deadline for submissions is December 15, 2015.
The German system of dual vocational training is unique. State, business and social partners work in close cooperation to continually improve this training model, geared to the real needs of the economy. This enables it to make a significant contribution to guaranteeing that the need for skilled workers can be met and thus to securing Germany's high level of competitiveness and productivity. Work-based learning ensures that both vocational and social skills are developed from day one.
The German-South African Binational Commission is held every two years, alternating between Berlin and Pretoria. The two partner countries debate global challenges and coordinate possible collaboration in various fields of mutual interest.
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