Recently published articles on the support provided by the Sekunjalo Development Foundation to the Brussels based NGO, the AITJ, require clarification.

The Sekunjalo Development Foundation (SDF) and associated philanthropic organisations and foundations (the foundations), are globally recognised philanthropic trusts that have funded several different international initiatives related to anti-human trafficking, human rights issues and peace and justice projects over the past 20 years or more. Additionally, these foundations also support initiatives that combat climate change, enhance education as well as arts and culture.

To date, the foundations have had a combined positive global impact on more that 100 million people across Europe, USA, Asia, and Africa, with funding and donations of more than USD100 million.

The foundations, although headquartered in South Africa, have also funded Swedish based organisations with Dr Survé, along with Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Mr Ahmed Kathrada, being made honorary friends and who have received awards for example, for their philanthropic work in and around anti-trafficking programmes of children and women.

Several other international organisations have also received support and continue to do so, especially those related to climate change and the environment.

Fight Impunity

In respect of the NGO, ‘Association Against Impunity and for Transitional Justice’ (Fight Impunity) formally approached the Sekunjalo Development Foundation (SDF) for donation during 2020. A sum of R4.5million was duly donated to Fight Impunity to what the SDF believes to be a credible and legitimate organisation involved in combatting human trafficking, stopping the abuse of detainees and prisoners, as well as restoring peace and justice.

It is not unusual for the foundations to provide donations to organisations outside of Africa, since the foundations are global entities and donate to several different causes all over the world as we have noted above.

The foundations do, however, wish to make the following abundantly clear; that they will not be told to whom they should or should not donate but, will disassociate themselves from any wrongdoing by any organisation that undermines the good work being done by legitimate organisations to combat the issues the foundations support. The foundations will continue to check that funds donated to Fight Impunity have been used for the cause they were intended – the support of human rights interventions, particularly those in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Further, we categorically state that none of these foundations have been funded by the Qataris as has been intimated by several unsubstantiated articles by reporters who have not had the professional courtesy to ask us for a comment.

Below is the website for AITJ, which reflects an NPO with Nobel Laureates and former high-ranking politicians, including the former Prime Minister of France and EU Human Rights commissioners, as their Trustees.

The website shows their programmes and initiatives, including highlighting efforts to stop the killing of journalists and partnering with the IJF, a matter which we consider important due to our employing hundreds of journalists across Africa.

Our foundations will continue to support credible and legitimate organisations who fight human atrocities and that work towards making the world a better place for all.

World Economic Forum (WEF) veteran, Dr Iqbal Survé, shares his thoughts on the eve of the organisation’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland which runs from 22-26 May.

Nearly 2500 leaders from politics, business, civil society and media from around the globe, are expected to participate in WEF’s first in-person annual meeting in more than two years.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) annual gathering gets underway this weekend. Whilst the work the forum does has not stopped in the intervening two years since we last met in person, it will be good to resume face-to face meetings and discussions, and I for one, am looking forward to the discourse to come.

Of particular interest, is a session addressing the growing services industry. This has also caught the eye of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), who for the first time in 20 years, has developed a framework to facilitate trade in services, an industry that accounts for more than two-thirds of global GDP.

It is also the fastest growing sector of the global economy.

Examples of these services include the likes of banking, telecommunications, tourism, and professional services. Access to these are essential – for everyone on the planet (along with food, water and shelter).

The WEF’s 2022 theme, Working Together, Restoring Trust punctuates where we find ourselves as a world at present, post pandemic and with an even greater challenge to advance long-standing economic, environmental and societal priorities and to forge a strong and everlasting egalitarian society.

One way in which we can advance solutions, is to work within a flexible framework for a multilateral trading system, as one size will not always fit all. Consequently, the WTO session to which I have been asked to contribute at next week’s WEF, will be a forum in which to discuss investment facilitation for developing and emerging market economies to take advantage of the growing services trade.

South Africa is not a signatory of the WTO’s Joint Services Domestic Regulation declaration which aims to increase transparency, predictability and efficiency of services providers to do business in foreign markets. So, to be invited to participate in this session, is a great honour, but it is also necessary.

Africa as a developing continent stands to benefit from the services industry, both as a generator and as a receiver of these facilities. It must have a seat at the table.

Underwriting all progress for Africa and Africans, will be access to financial services, without which, the continent will remain dependent on external support. Now is the time for us to work together, collaborate, learn from one another, and develop the skills with which to build a better future – for all of us.

Survé continues to be a regular Davos participant and served as the first chairman of the Global Growth Companies Advisory Board and vice-chairman of the Global Agenda Council (GAC) for emerging Multinationals, including his contributions to the Forum Advisory Board. Under his leadership, the Sekunjalo Group, has been recognised by WEF as one of the world’s fastest growing companies, aka ‘WEF Forum Members’.

By Iqbal Survé


It’s time to Take Back Your Saturday – forget about chores or being a couch potato, go out and have fun.

To help you reclaim your day off, Independent Media is publishing Saturday Live from this week.

The national 12-page lifestyle supplement will appear in the Saturday Star, Independent on Saturday, Pretoria News Weekender and Weekend Argus Saturday from tomorrow.

Even though it is a national supplement, readers can expect to keep up-to-date with specific events in their area.

You can win at being a weekend warrior, with the supplement as your guide to entertainment, fashion, food and lifestyle events and generally, how to have a happy Saturday.

Some of the best lifestyle journalists who have their fingers on the pulse of all that’s “hip and happening” in South Africa, will be contributing to the supplement.

Comedian Tumi Morake is one of our regular columnists and of course, Independent”s top lifestyle journalist, Nontando Mposo.

The head of Independent Media’s Lifestyle division, Mbuso Khoza, says Saturday Live will be anchored by a mix of local, national and international trends, fun ideas and luxury events.

“The concept for a national supplement was realised after our research showed that many people spend long hours doing mundane chores over weekends, instead of doing what they would love to. The weekend is meant for fun, and what better time to have fun than on a Saturday. Saturday Live is going to inspire you – to Take Your Saturday Back”.

Independent Media Executive Chairman Dr Iqbal Survé congratulated Khoza and her team for conceptualising and designing a supplement which fits comfortably with the aims and objectives of Independent Media.

“We cannot escape from the reality that our lives are complex and time is minimal.   This supplement will help steer you to a great day and a great weekend. Because it has such a wide reach, I am pleased to see that the supplement will focus on hyper-local events, and national take outs. It is going to appeal to most of our readers.

“The team epitomizes all that we stand for at Independent Media:  innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship,” Dr Surve’ said.


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