Issue 52 | 12 April 2013
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“Contributing to building a better Africa is the central foreign policy goal of the South African Government.” – President Jacob Zuma

The South African Heads of Mission (HOM) Conference was held at DIRCO from 8 to 12 April.

Addressing the conference on 11 April, President Jacob Zuma referred to the Freedom Day 2013 celebrations, which will be held on 27 April 2013 under the theme “Mobilising Society towards Consolidating our Democracy and Freedom”.

“The 2013 celebrations for Freedom Day and Month take on special significance as the nation prepares for our 20 years of freedom commemoration and celebrations.

“As our heads of missions abroad, you will be able to tell the world in celebrations all over, that South Africa is a much better place than it was before 1994. We are indeed a country that is better off since our democratic elections.”

“… all our heads of missions should also continue to prioritise the African continent and the promotion of African renewal, development and reconstruction, regardless of where they are stationed.”

President Zuma also emphasised that communication and the marketing of South Africa abroad was a key strategic goal.

The HOM Conference was the focus of an Sunrise event held at the OR Tambo Building on 11 April. Panel members included the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Ambassador Mxolisi Nkosi (Ambassador of South Africa to Belgium and Luxembourg, and Head of Mission to the European Union); High Commissioner Charles Nqakula (South African High Commissioner to Mozambique); Ambassador Ruby Marks (South African Ambassador to Thailand); and Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo (South African Ambassador to the United Nations). 

The objective of the conference was to:
  • be informed of the National Development Plan Vision for 2030 (NDP) as supported by the New Growth Path, and endorsed by Cabinet, Parliament and the general public
  • determine the role of South Africa’s foreign policy and that of missions in advancing South Africa’s national priorities, particularly the African Agenda and Global Governance
  • collectively reflect on the 2013 State of the Nation Address and determine DIRCO’s responses
  • acquaint HOM with new governance and administrative requirements.



The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, attended the 14th Extra-Ordinary Executive Council Meeting of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa on 8 April 2013.

The purpose of the meeting was to finalise preparations for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Organisation of African Unity/AU that will be held on 25 May 2013.

The celebrations at the AU and in the different member states will run until 24 May 2014. The AU Summit theme for 2013 will be “Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance”.



President-elect Kenyatta won Kenya's Presidential elections last month.

President Jacob Zuma attended the inauguration of the President-elect of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, on Tuesday 9 April. President Kenyatta won Kenya's Presidential elections last month.

President Zuma said South Africa congratulated the Kenyans on their free and fair elections and looked forward to working with the new Government to further South Africa-Kenya relations, especially in the field of economic development, trade and investment, as well as on peace and security issues on the continent.



The leadership of our continent is showing no tolerance to unlawful changes of governments.

President Jacob Zuma paid a working visit to N'Djamena on 3 April 2013, where he led a South African delegation to the Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). South Africa was invited to the Extra-Ordinary Summit by the Chairperson of the ECCAS and President of the Republic of Chad, Idriss Deby Itno.

The summit considered the unfolding political and security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) and took a number of decisions in relation to the situation. The ECCAS Extra-Ordinary Summit decided that the CAR Government, which was constituted after 23 March 2013, was not recognised as a legitimate government. This is in line with the African Union statutes that outlaw unconstitutional changes of governments on the continent.

Speaking during a media briefing on 4 April 2013, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said the position of the AU was very clear that there could be no recognition given to any government that came to power through unconstitutional means, especially through a violent military coup such as the one in the CAR. “The decisions by the AU, the ECCAS and South Africa not to recognise the self-proclaimed Government in the CAR will go a long way in strengthening the authority of the AU, its statutes and policies, which are adopted collectively at summits and other organs of our continental organisation,” she said.

Regarding the status of South African troops deployed to the CAR as a result of a bilateral agreement that was entered into in 2007, President Zuma announced at the Extra-Ordinary Summit that South Africa had taken a decision to withdraw its troops from the CAR.

President Zuma told the summit that: "Since the self-appointed leader of the CAR took over, in the process nullifying the Constitution, the Parliament and the Judiciary, it has become clear that the Government that we entered into an agreement with was no longer in place."
The Templeton Prize was conceived by American-born British stock investor Sir John Templeton. The first winner was Mother Teresa in 1973.
President Jacob Zuma congratulated Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu for being awarded the 2013 Templeton Prize on Thursday 4 April for his lifelong work to promote “love and forgiveness”. The 81-year-old will be presented with the award at a ceremony in London next month.

“We are extremely proud of this recognition of one of our own, the Revered Archbishop Tutu. Even in his retirement, the archbishop continues to inspire our country and its people to do more every day to realise the universal goal of a better life for all. This honour is therefore well-deserved indeed,” President Zuma said.



The working visit follows on the State Visit by the President of Namibia to South Africa in November 2012.

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, visited Windhoek, Namibia, on 5 April on a working visit at the invitation of her Namibian counterpart, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Namibia. The purpose of the meeting was to further strengthen bilateral relations and issues of mutual and regional interest.

South Africa is the source of 66% of Namibia’s exports and holds approximately 80% of investments in key industries such as mining, retail, banking and insurance. In 2012, total South African investments in Namibia were estimated at R58,47 billion.

Namibia’s main exports to South Africa include beverages, livestock, meat products, fish and natural resources. The main imports from South Africa consist of vehicles, machinery, pharmaceuticals, processed food, clothes, cement, petroleum products, iron and steel.



Almost a quarter of companies surveyed said Africa would be the "new retail growth story" in the next decade.

South Africa is the top ranked market for retail expansion in Africa in the latest survey by United Kingdom financial services provider Barclays. The survey asked British retailers about their attitudes towards international expansion.

While the United States remains the top destination, Africa is emerging as an attractive market to invest in, the survey found.

"Africa remains one of the final frontiers for retail, but the recent acquisition of South Africa's Massmart shows how seriously global retailers are now taking the continent," Barclays said in a statement.

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