Issue 53 | 17 April 2013
If this newsletter doesn’t load or images don’t display, please click here



Find out how the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) can help you if things go wrong.

The explosions during the Boston Marathon in the United States on 15 April 2013 have emphasised the importance of Consular Services, being a responsible traveller and registering on ROSA.

ROSA or the Registration of South Africans Abroad, is a software programme developed by the DIRCO to locate South Africans abroad, especially during disaster situations, in order to render consular services. Consular assistance consists of mainly non-financial support to South African citizens in distress and destitute abroad, caused by circumstances beyond their control − such as the tragic Boston events.

DIRCO encourages all South African citizens to consider registration on ROSA as an integral part of travel planning and security.
For more information on Consular Services or to register on ROSA, visit or call 012 351 1000.
The purpose of the summit was to discuss various issues broadly related to regional trade and industrialisation under the Customs Union.
President Jacob Zuma attended the SACU Summit in Gaborone, Botswana, on 12 April. The one-day summit was attended by heads of states and governments of the SACU member states, namely Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa.

The event appraised progress and outcomes with regard to the five-point programme that was adopted in March 2011. The five points included:
  • regional industrialisation
  • the review of the revenue sharing agreement
  • trade facilitation
  • development of SACU institutions
  • a unified engagement in trade negotiations.
Other important issues discussed included:
  • funding for regional programmes and projects
  • industrial collaboration through the development of regional value chains to promote complementary industrial development
  • collective activities to strengthen investment promotion among the countries.
President Zuma was accompanied by the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, and the Deputy Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene.



Through the visit, South Africa strengthened bilateral relations with both Algeria and Nigeria.

President Jacob Zuma undertook a working visit to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 14 to 16 April.

The objective of the Algerian visit was mainly for bilateral consultations with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika within the context of the historic and excellent bilateral relations that exist between the two countries through the South Africa-Algeria Bi-National Commission of Cooperation.

President Zuma then proceeded to the Federal Republic of Nigeria where he met President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on 16 April in Abuja. The meeting focussed on bilateral, regional, continental and international relations between the two countries. A number of agreements and memoranda of understanding were signed.


Discussions were also held on increased Qatari investment in South Africa and on possible trilateral cooperation in Africa.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ebrahim Ebrahim, undertook a working visit to the State of Qatar from 14 to 15 April 2013 and the Islamic Republic of Iran from 14 to 18 April 2013.

The Deputy Minister led a delegation for the Fourth Round of Bilateral Consultations. The bilateral consultations are convened in accordance with Article 1 of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, which was signed in Cape Town on 15 May 2002.

The visit provided an opportunity to engage the Government of Qatar on developments in the region and also to review the status of bilateral relations and discuss ways in which they would be enhanced further.

From Qatar, the Deputy Minister travelled to the Islamic Republic of Iran on the invitation of the Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs of Iran, Hossein Amir Abdollahian. Dr Abdollahian visited South Africa in May last year.

One of the main objectives of the visit is to exchange views on developments domestically and within the respective regions, to review the implementation of bilateral engagements and to assess the potential for the expansion thereof, particularly in the field of education and environmental affairs. The deputy ministers will also have the opportunity to engage on the latest nuclear developments, and human rights fields, with a particular emphasis on exchanging South African best practices on human rights.

Despite the challenging international situation confronting Iran, South Africa attached significant importance to its bilateral relations with Iran, Deputy Minister Ebrahim said. The visit ends on 18 April 2013.



“Freedom Month is also a period of reflection on what else needs to be done collectively towards the goal of building a prosperous society and an improved quality of life for all, especially the poor and the working class.”

President Jacob Zuma will this month lead the nation in marking Freedom Month under the theme “Mobilising society towards consolidating our democracy and freedom”. 

The main event will be held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 27 April 2013, followed by the 17th National Orders Ceremony.

The celebrations will promote the National Development Plan (NDP) as a long-term vision which should serve as a basis for partnerships across society to attain the South Africa that is articulated in the Constitution and historic national documents such as the Freedom Charter of 1955.

The NDP is a policy blueprint for eliminating poverty and reducing inequality in South Africa by 2030. Among other things, it identifies the key constraints to faster growth and presents a roadmap to a more inclusive economy that will address the country's socio-economic imbalances.

"We as government urge all parties to use Freedom Month to unite South Africans in their commitment to building a nation that is caring, dignified and with a great sense of humility and mutual respect for one another, in celebrating the country's Constitution, especially the unifying assertion that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white ...”, President Zuma said.



Building on existing diplomatic ties between the two countries, South Africa will be represented
at the inauguration set for 19 April 2013.

South African President Jacob Zuma has congratulated Mr Nicolas Maduro and the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, following the conclusion of the Venezuelan Presidential elections held on 14 April 2013.

“The Government and the people of South Africa congratulate Mr Nicolas Maduro and the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on the successful elections. The Government of South Africa looks forward to consolidating its relations with Venezuela under the leadership of President-elect Maduro.”



South Africa is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to be participating in this reciprocal national Seasons, which concentrates on culture and the arts but also includes sport, education, trade and the sciences.


The Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile, launched the South African leg of the South African Season in France, at an official ceremony on 17 April 2013 in Paris, France.

The France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013 is a multifaceted bilateral collaboration between the two countries. Last year, South Africa successfully hosted the French leg of the Seasons between July and November, with various events, including exhibitions, performances, academic events and festivities throughout the country.

The Seasons gives the peoples of the two countries an opportunity to better understand and appreciate each other’s rich and diverse art and culture. Equally important, South Africa’s participation allows local artists, culture and heritage practitioners a chance to showcase their work to a French audience and allow for collaboration with their counterparts in that country.

Stay Connected with us

Your comments are welcome and can be sent to