Issue 41 | 08 February 2013
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President Jacob Zuma will present the State of the Nation Address (SoNA) to a joint sitting of Parliament at 19:00 on Thursday, 14 February 2012. You can listen to the speech on radio or watch it live on television. For our colleagues in the missions, the speech will also be streamed live from Parliament’s website


The ITEC is a bilateral cooperation mechanism between South Africa and the Russian Federation that meets annually to strengthen mutually beneficial economic, commercial and social relations as well as technical cooperation between the two countries.


The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who also serves as the co-chairperson of the South Africa-Russia Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), hosted her ITEC counterpart, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Sergey Donskoy, in Pretoria on 3 February 2013 for an ITEC co-chairpersons meeting.

The meeting presented an opportunity for the ministers to follow-up on decisions taken during the 11th ITEC meeting held in Moscow on 12 and 13 November 2012. The ministers finalised priority projects and agreements that will be concluded during the official visit of President Vladimir Putin in March 2013. The agreements under consideration are in the following fields: agriculture; education; energy; fisheries; justice; mineral resources; science and technology; and transport.




As government and business, we share the goal of building a prosperous society, free of poverty, inequality and unemployment.


Government and business will meet within two months to iron out obstacles to economic growth, it was decided at a government-business meeting in Pretoria on 3 February. Hosted by President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and economic Cabinet committee ministers, the meeting was convened by the President to share ideas on the country’s priorities ahead of the State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on 14 February 2013.

The meeting focussed on the importance of achieving employment-creating economic growth and on deeper cooperation between government and business.

 “As government and business, we share the goal of building a prosperous society, free of poverty, inequality and unemployment. We share the goal of promoting a strong and positive South African brand. We therefore need to work very closely together, especially at this critical period when our economy is affected by the harsh European economic meltdown that refuses to go away. We have to find a way to cushion the economy, improve our growth prospects and create much-needed jobs. Whenever we pull together, we manage to achieve a lot for our country and its people’’, said President Zuma.




South Africa has pledged US$10 million for the capacitation of police forces in Mali. This is in addition to the US$50 million pledged by the African Union (AU).


At an international pledging conference on Mali under the title “African Solidarity Initiative”, held on 29 January 2013, South Africa pledged the amount of US$10 million, in addition to supporting the US$50 million pledged by the AU. South Africa has already pledged 10 million Euro for urgently needed humanitarian assistance in Mali.

During this conference, South Africa stressed the need for African states to fully respect the Lomé Declaration of July 2000, which addresses the issue of unconstitutional changes of governments, and noted that adherence to the Lomé Declaration was the backbone of democracy in Africa




China has become South Africa’s biggest trading partner and a significant investor in the South African economy. In 2012, total trade stood at R201 billion.


Speaking at the occasion of the 15th anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Africa and China on Thursday, 31 January 2013, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said that since formalising relations between the two countries in January 1998, the relations had developed significantly in all areas of cooperation.

“This is benchmarked by the strategic dialogue partnership agreed to by South Africa and China in 2008 and later followed by the signing of the Beijing Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2010. During President Zuma’s recent visit to Beijing in July 2012, our President and President Hu Jintao agreed to establish a Joint Inter-Ministerial Working Group on South Africa-China cooperation to give further impetus to our cooperation.”




Following the floods in Mozambique, the Mozambican Government has asked the South African Government’s assistance in the evacuation efforts.


Upon receiving a request for three helicopters for rescue operations from Mozambique’s President Armando Guebuza on 24 January 2013, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) deployed two helicopters and two fixed-wing aircraft for rescue purposes on 25 January.

The rescue operation has moved to an humanitarian assistance phase whereby civil society, represented by the Gift of the Givers Foundation, in partnership with the SANDF, is expected to deliver 135 tonnes of emergency aid. This will augment the rescue efforts of the SANDF, which include the provision of boats, divers, aquatic rescue personnel, paramedics and medical teams.




Nigeria's business environment is in strong growth mode, and so offers the South African professional accountant a great new market in which to operate.


The South African Institute of Professional Accountants has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Council for the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria to facilitate cooperation and allow members to work in both countries.

The memorandum allows members of one organisation to become members of the other, enabling South African accountants to work in Nigeria and Nigerian accountants to practise in South Africa.

"Nigeria's business environment is in strong growth mode, and so offers the South African professional accountant a great new market in which to operate," the institute's Chief Executive Officer, Shahied Daniels, said.




South Africa was the 12th country to join the initiative after Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, India, Jordan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mauritius, Mexico, Panama, Rwanda and the Seychelles.


South Africa has signed the Nagoya Protocol, as part of efforts to protect indigenous fauna and flora. “The Nagoya Protocol is a legally binding agreement outlining a set of terms prescribing how one country will gain access to another country's genetic resources and how the benefits derived, will be shared”, said the Department of Environmental Affairs’ spokesperson, Albi Modise.

The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa
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