Issue 47 | 07 March 2013
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Bilateral relations between South Africa and Denmark are founded on the historic Danish support and solidarity with the liberation struggle against apartheid, leading to the eventual establishment of formal diplomatic relations at the advent of South Africa’s democracy.

The Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, undertook a working visit to South Africa from 3 to 5 March 2013. On 4 March 2013, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe met the Prime Minister and exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest between the two countries.

One specific area of potential strength in bilateral relations between South Africa and Denmark are opportunities in the development of the energy sector, particularly in the field of renewable energy such as wind and solar energy, as well as energy-efficiency technology. Denmark aspires to become the world leader in sustainable energy technology and green business.

Negotiations for the signing of the Agreement on Financial and Technical Support for the Development of the Renewable Energy Sector in South Africa are at an advanced stage. This agreement is expected to cover, among other things, technical assistance and funding for South Africa’s wind atlas project.

South Africa’s total exports to Denmark amounted to R1,06 billion in 2012. Imports from Denmark amounted to R2,5 billion over the same period, registering an increase of 5,9%. Meanwhile, tourism data shows that on average, around 23 000 Danish citizens land on South Africa’s shores annually.



Stemming from the new Constitution, the Parliament of Kenya has passed new legislation on elections, political parties, ethics and leadership, the reform of the judiciary and the establishment of a new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

South African officials and members of civil society participated under the auspices of the African Union Election Observation Mission and various other accredited monitoring teams in monitoring the general elections in Kenya, which occurred on 4 March 2013.

The people of Kenya recently adopted a new Constitution that was passed in a largely peaceful and well-run referendum in August 2010. The new Kenyan Constitution depicts a united Kenya that is desired by all, and it acts as a bridge to heal the divisions of the past.


Not only is the UAE the largest market for South African products in the Arab World, but it is a major investor in South Africa and home to a sizeable South African expatriate community.
Deputy Minister Marius Fransman undertook a working visit to Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 3 March 2013. The Deputy Minister held bilateral consultations with the UAE Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Al Hamed, concerning the case of Professor Cyril Karabus.

South Africa called on the UAE to allow Professor Karabus to be released on humanitarian grounds due to his age and health. The South African Government respects the independence of the judiciary and called for a fair trial with a view to avoiding further postponements of the case.

The Deputy Minister also consulted with Professor Karabus about his case and enquired about his health and personal circumstances. Professor Karabus confirmed that his next court hearing was scheduled for 20 March 2013 and expressed hope that the Higher Medical Committee would have reviewed his case by that time.

Notwithstanding this concern, Deputy Minister Fransman emphasised that South Africa and the UAE enjoyed good bilateral relations. He said South Africa looked forward to welcoming the President of the UAE in South Africa after he accepted an invitation from President Jacob Zuma to undertake a visit. It is also expected that the inaugural meeting of the South Africa-UAE Joint Commission will take place during 2013.


Cabinet approved the marking of the month of March as APRM Month. The APRM will be marking its 10th year of existence on 9 March. South Africa is preparing for its third and final country report since it was peer reviewed in 2007. Provincial consultations on the report are currently underway in various provinces, and South Africans are urged to participate. 



South Africa is surrounded by two oceans and is uniquely placed on the continent in understanding the oceans environment.

The first meeting of the Global Ocean Commission will take place in Cape Town on 3 and 4 April 2013. South Africa is surrounded by two oceans and is uniquely placed on the continent in understanding the oceans environment. The conference will help market South Africa’s institutions to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s Sub-Commission members in Africa.



Roadshows have already taken place in Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Northern Cape, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

South Africa is hosting the fifth Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit in Durban from 26 to 27 March. To raise awareness around the importance of South Africa’s membership and its benefits, a series of roadshows are taking place across the country.

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, co-hosted the roadshow in the hosting province, KwaZulu-Natal, with Premier Zweli Mkhize on 5 March 2013.

 “The BRICS Summit serves as a platform on which synergies between the economy of KwaZulu-Natal and economies of member nations will be strengthened. We want to promote our province as a destination for foreign direct investment.”
Speaking at the BRICS roadshow in Cape Town on the same day, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Marius Fransman, said: “… the global aims of BRICS include peace, security, development and cooperation and these to some extent or the other constitute the major challenges we also face as a province. Just as BRICS constitutes a mechanism to rectify the imbalance in the global economy and institutions of governance, it is vital for our growth and development to grapple with the question of how we make the relative prosperity of the Western Cape work for all the people of this province.” The Deputy Minister accompanied the Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel, on the roadshow.
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