Issue 56 | 10 May 2013
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South Africa’s role in the Central African Republic (CAR) was to assist in capacity-building and training under a legal framework that is in compliance with South Africa’s domestic legislation and resolutions of the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN).

On 3 May, President Jacob Zuma undertook a working visit to the Republic of Congo to attend the Contact Group Meeting on the CAR in Congo Brazzaville.

The Contact Group Meeting followed extensive diplomatic engagements at the level of summits of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the AU and UN regarding the political and security situation in the CAR.

In his opening address, President Zuma called on all those in positions of responsibility and leadership to ensure that the needless suffering of the people in the CAR was brought to an end.

“As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity this month, we owe it to ourselves and generations to come to continue working tirelessly until we achieve peace, stability and prosperity in Africa.”

The position of the AU clearly stipulates that there could be no recognition given to any government that comes to power through unconstitutional means. However, after the military coup in the CAR, the ECCAS region had to adopt a roadmap aimed at restoring constitutional normalcy in the country by recognising the formation of a transitional structure to govern the CAR in the interim.

“The South African Government will continue to play a positive and constructive role in conflict resolution and peace-building efforts on the African continent, guided by the vision of the African continent that is peaceful, prosperous and democratic.”



South Africa and Nigeria have over the years enjoyed close bilateral relations that are structured under the Bi-National Commission (BNC), which was inaugurated in 1999.

South African President Jacob Zuma received the President of the Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, on a two-day State Visit from 6 to 7 May 2013. It was President Jonathan’s first visit to South Africa. The President was accompanied by a high-level delegation of Cabinet ministers, governors of state, business and senior government officials.

Speaking during a press conference on 7 May 2013, President Zuma said he was happy that “we have prioritised economic cooperation during this visit”.

To date, over 100 South African companies are doing business in Nigeria, with the biggest investment being in the telecommunications sector. Other sectors include engineering, construction, media, banking, retail, hospitality, oil and gas exploration and services.

Last year, South Africa received a total of 73 282 Nigerian tourists, which is a 13,8% increase on the 64 402 Nigerian tourists who visited South Africa in 2011.

“We welcome this upward trend. Our records indicate that Nigerian tourists contributed a total of R720 million to the South African economy last year. To boost tourism links further, South Africa is in the process of opening a tourism office in Lagos,” President Zuma said. He urged South Africans to “also visit Nigeria and explore this sister country, which has historically played a prominent role in the continent and in world affairs”.

The two presidents exchanged views on political developments on the continent, especially against the background of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Union, now the African Union (AU).

South Africa and Nigeria share a common vision on issues of political and economic integration in Africa, a need for a sustainable conflict-resolution mechanism in Africa that is primarily driven by Africans and the need for reform of multilateral institutions.

“Part of the capacity needed by the AU is the establishment of the African Standby Force for rapid deployment in crisis areas without delays. The need for an intervention brigade has become more crucial in light of the situations of instability in the Central African Republic, the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali, where decisive intervention is needed.”



The objectives of the Deputy Minister's visits are to strengthen political, economic and commercial relations; to explore areas of cooperation in education, science and technology; to promote the African Agenda; and to exchange views on global peace and security governance issues of common interest.

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Marius Fransman, is undertaking visits to Azerbaijan, Belarus, Czech Republic and Romania for political consultations with his counterparts from 6 to16 May 2013.

The Deputy Minister was in Azerbaijan from 7 to 8 May, and will visit Belarus on 13 May, the Czech Republic from 14 to 15 May and Romania on 16 May 2013.

While in Europe, the Deputy Minister will lead a South African delegation to the High-Level Segment of the Extra-Ordinary Conferences of States Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (ExCOP2), scheduled for 9 to 10 May 2013 at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

The objectives of the ExCOP2 are to improve efficiency in the life cycle management of chemicals and hazardous waste under the three conventions; strengthen the implementation of the three conventions at national, regional and global levels; promote coherent policy guidance; and to further enhance efficiency in the provision of support to parties.



Hosting the event will provide South Africa with an added opportunity to actively engage and lobby African leaders and international and regional businesses on possible interventions to integrate and enhance growth in South Africa and the region.

WEF-Africa 2013 is being held in Cape Town from 8 to 10 May 2013, under the theme: “Delivering on Africa’s Promise”.

WEF-Africa is a regionally focussed economic forum that provides an opportunity for local and regional businesses and investors interested in the region to exchange and even explore partnerships with governments.

Speaking during a press briefing on 7 May, President Jacob Zuma said WEF-Africa provided an opportunity to further showcase the success of the continent.

“Statistics indicate that over the past 10 years, the world’s 10-fastest growing economies were in Africa. Indeed, Africa has a positive story to tell. Where there are challenges, they are being attended to. That is our message to WEF this week as the African host of this prestigious forum.”


In another agreement concluded at the BRICS Summit, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which has a 20% share in South Africa's Standard Bank, agreed to invest its share of dividends over the next five years in local renewable energy projects.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry’s Director-General, Lionel October, South Africa is attracting new attention from Chinese, Indian and Russian investors, including a planned visit by Chinese buyers who aim to spend R5 billion in the country later this year,

The Chinese Government is planning to coordinate a buying mission for their retail trading houses and state-owned enterprises in September, and was looking at spending R5 billion in provinces across the country.

He said his department had signed a range of agreements at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit, which took place in Durban in March.

These included agreements signed with China for setting up a cement plant in Limpopo, and another with Chinese conglomerate Cherry to explore the possibility of setting up a ship repair and small-ship building facility in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal.



"Africa offers the highest return on foreign direct investment in the world, according to the UN trade agency UNCTAD."

South Africa and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa present significant potential for business investment by companies in the Middle East,

The findings were announced by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry as part of the Africa Global Business Forum 2013, hosted in Dubai on 1 and 2 May.

South Africa already has an established relationship with the United Arab Emirates UAE), and the forum was organised to explore opportunities for further cooperation.

"[South Africa's] relationship with the UAE is well developed and bilateral trade and FDI flows are strong," the report said. "The business environment is among the most advanced in sub-Saharan Africa and the private sector is well established.”

According to the report, "Sub-Saharan Africa is now competing with Asia to become the world's fastest-growing region".

The report said Africa's growth was driven by rapid urbanisation, a young population and emerging middle class.

"Africa offers the highest return on foreign direct investment in the world, according to the UN trade agency UNCTAD," said the Dubai Chamber of Commerce's Director-General, Hamad Buamim.



The award acknowledges destinations and operators that have excelled in servicing the European outsourcing market.

South Africa as an investment destination received a further boost by winning the European Outsourcing Association (EOA) Offshoring Destination of the Year Award 2013. This was made possible through the continued investment from global operators.

The award holds the potential for an influx of new investment in 2013 and beyond.




The South African Government will ensure that every Angolan citizen in South Africa is informed about the cessation process to affected communities and encourage affected Angolans to voluntarily avail themselves for repatriation.

Cabinet has declared 31 August 2013 as the cessation date in South Africa for affected Angolan refugees. This is in line with the cessation declared by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees during October 2009, and gives effect to efforts to enhance regional integration.

Fundamental changes have taken place since the end of the civil war in Angola. It is considered that Angolan refugees should be able to reclaim citizenship of their country of origin, because the circumstances that recognised a person as a refugee no longer exist.

The objective of the mission is to create market access for South African value-added products and services into new markets and to promote South Africa as a trade and investment destination.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Elizabeth Thabethe, visited Algeria this week to expose South African companies to trade opportunities on the continent.

“The trade mission is also expected to expose South African companies to export opportunities and will provide a platform to promote South African products to potential new customers and penetrate new markets,” said Thabethe, who led a delegation of South African businesses to the three-day Outward Selling Mission.

The sectors focussed on mainly included agriculture and agro-processing; infrastructure; oil and gas; mining and capital equipment; information and communications technology; and financial services.”



The 2014 congress will play a significant role in promoting architecture on the continent and also expose the world architectural community to a dynamic and diverse architectural environment.

The South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) will host the 2014 International Union of Architects (UIA) World Congress in Durban.

SAIA won the bid to host at the 2008 UIA World Congress, which was held in Turin, Italy.
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