Issue 49 | 20 March 2013
If this newsletter doesn’t load or images don’t display, please click here
The visit by China's new President to South Africa, scheduled to coincide with the fifth BRICS Summit, will be among the first he will be undertaking to Africa since assuming office. 
President Jacob Zuma has congratulated Mr Xi Jinping on his election to the position of President of the People's Republic of China, on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa.

"South Africa congratulates the Communist Party of China for the successful completion of its 18th Party Congress, and for electing Vice President Xi Jinping as new party leader. South Africa looks forward to consolidating its strong relations with the People's Republic of China under the leadership of President Xi Jinping."

China is South Africa’s biggest trading partner and a significant investor in the South African economy. In 2012, total trade stood at R201 billion, according to the South African Revenue Service. Both sides have agreed to work towards a more equitable trade balance so that both nations benefit from the trade. In this regard, the Joint Working Group on Trade Statistics under the Bi-National Commission was established to address the trade imbalance.


“We would like to wish His Holiness a long and blessed Pontificate, to defend and promote the fundamental values of peace, solidarity and human dignity.”
On behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma has conveyed his warmest congratulations to His Holiness Pope Francis on his election as Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church.

“We would like to wish His Holiness a long and blessed Pontificate, to defend and promote the fundamental values of peace, solidarity and human dignity,” President Zuma said.

President Zuma also stated that His Holiness assumed leadership at a critical time in which the world's collective wisdom and leadership, including that of the religious community, is most important to face up to challenges of deepening poverty and underdevelopment afflicting many people of the world.

“We also share the conviction that we can only resolve the interconnected challenges of today’s world through dialogue. I am certain that His Holiness will continue to build on the legacy of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, among others, in the promotion of inter-faith dialogue.”

“I look forward to continuing our cooperation on issues of international importance such as Africa and its development and to strengthen the special relationship between South Africa and the Holy See,” President Zuma concluded.


This year marks the 20th anniversary of the TICAD Process and it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the OAU/AU.
On 16 and 17 March 2013, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Marius Fransman, led a South African delegation to the African Union (AU) Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to prepare for the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-V).
TICAD is a strategic partnership between Africa and Japan that was launched in 1993, to serve as a consultative forum for development assistance to Africa. Over the past 20 years, this partnership has evolved into a strategic multilateral platform that has aligned its priorities to the AU/New Partnership for Africa’s Development’s objectives for Africa, while also advocating the twin principles of “African ownership” and “international partnership”.
In its 20 years of existence, the TICAD Process has succeeded in:

• Mobilising and sustaining international focus on the need to support the African Agenda.
• Facilitating the expansion of Japanese foreign direct investment to Africa.
• Increasing the quality of trade with Africa, which in 2011 stood at US$30,4 billion.
• Increasing cooperation in the areas of human resource development, infrastructure development, science and technology and other areas of mutual interest. The Japanese private-sector investments in Africa are largely based in the following sectors: construction, renewable energy, manufacturing, telecommunications, automotives and pharmaceuticals.

With the signing of the Convention, the three countries agree to manage the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) in a cooperative and sustainable way for the benefit of coastal people who depend on the ecosystem for food, work and well-being.
The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, signed a groundbreaking environmental treaty – the Benguela Current Convention – with government ministers from Angola and Namibia in Benguela, Angola, on 18 March 2013.

The convention is a formal agreement between the three governments and seeks to promote a coordinated regional approach to the long-term conservation, protection, rehabilitation, enhancement and sustainable use of the BCLME to provide economic, environmental and social benefits. It defines the boundaries of the BCLME, an area of ocean space stretching from Benguela, in the province of Cabinda in the north of Angola, to Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
The conference brings together cooperatives from around the world to share experiences and network as part of transferring knowledge and building partnerships.
Cabinet recently approved the hosting of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) General Assembly and World Conference to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, during the week of 1 to 5 November 2013, under the theme “Cooperative Decade: Growing the Cooperative Movement”.

The ICA is a 118-year-old non-profit association with a membership of 97 countries, and this will be its first conference held in Africa. The conference will bring together cooperatives from around the world to share experiences and network as part of transferring knowledge and building partnerships.
Government has held a series of consultative meetings and roadshows across the country, targeting a wide variety of stakeholders as part of the build-up to the summit.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, addressed a business breakfast organised by Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) on South Africa’s hosting of the fifth BRICS Summit, on Friday 15 March, at the Sandton Sun Hotel.

During her address, the Minister focussed on the strategic outcomes of the summit:

  • The heads of state will consider the feasibility report on the establishment of the BRICS Development Bank, as prepared by the BRICS finance ministers.

  • The launch of the BRICS Think-Tank to conduct a general academic evaluation and future long-term strategy for BRICS. The Think-Thank was launched on Friday, 8 March 2013.

  • The BRICS Business Council will be launched to lead deliberations on better ways of fostering closer cooperation among BRICS member states to boost investment and trade. The council will comprise 25 members with member nations each having five representatives.

  • The first BRICS Leaders-Africa Dialogue Forum will take place on the afternoon of 27 March 2013. The theme for the session is entitled: “Unlocking Africa’s Potential: BRICS and Africa Cooperation on Infrastructure”. Various African heads of state and government will attend this forum, including the chairpersons of the African Union (AU); AU Commission; and New Partnership for Africa's Development.
The meeting formed part of the public and business awareness programmes ahead of the BRICS Summit.
“The roadshows provide an opportunity to bring information to the people about South Africa's membership of the BRICS and how this membership is being used to achieve South Africa's national priorities.”
As part of the build-up to the fifth BRICS Summit to be held in Durban in a week’s time, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, addressed a BRICS Summit roadshow on 18 March 2013 in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. The Minister serves as a member of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on BRICS.

"South Africa's membership of the BRICS has tangible benefits. South Africa's exports to China reached an all-time high of R85 billion (worth of goods) over the last year, 2012, while tourism arrivals from BRIC(S) countries increased by 26% between 2010 and 2012."

The purpose of the roadshows is to raise public awareness around the importance of South Africa’s membership of the BRICS and the benefits thereof. Similar roadshows have already taken place in Limpopo, Gauteng, North West, Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape.
Stay Connected with us

Your comments are welcome and can be sent to