Issue 73 | 30 August 2013
If this newsletter doesn’t load or images don’t display, please click here
This year, South Africa and Malaysia celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations.
President Jacob Zuma undertook an Official Visit to the Federation of Malaysia to meet with the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak; to receive an Honourary Doctorate of Leadership from Limkokwing University; and to accept a Lifetime Award for Global Peace, on behalf of former President Nelson Mandela, from the Mahathir Global Peace Foundation.

During this visit, President Zuma and his delegation engaged with the Malaysian Government on specific areas of interest between the two countries, including cooperation in training, education and skills transfer between the public entities of both countries; cooperation in the field of oil and gas, especially downstream industries; and science and technology.

Malaysia is an important economic partner in South-east Asia and remains the largest investor in South Africa from the region, with focussed investments in petrochemicals, telecommunications, real estate and hospitality. South Africa is the largest investor in Malaysia from Africa, with investments in petro-chemicals, insurance, food and beverages industries.

The delegation also comprised leading South African businesspersons, who attended the South Africa-Malaysia Business Forum, with a view to promote the further expansion of trade and investment between South Africa and Malaysia.

Total trade between South Africa and Malaysia grew steadily from approximately R13,8 billion in 2008 to R19,7 billion in 2012. Total exports increased from R5,2 billion to R8,8 billion and imports from R8,5 to R10,9 billion in 2008 and 2012, respectively.
The consultation was a follow-up to a meeting held by the three presidents in Luanda in March.
President Jacob Zuma met with Angolan President José Eduardo Dos Santos and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila in Luanda last week.

The three presidents discussed a range of issues relating to peace and stability in the region, particularly the current peace efforts in the DRC. –
The visit is aimed at revitalising the diplomatic relations that exist between the two countries and takes place within the context of promoting the African Agenda.
At the invitation President Jacob Zuma, His Excellency Manuel Pinto Da Costa, President of Democratic Republic of Săo Tomé and Príncipe, will undertake a State Visit to South Africa scheduled to take place in Pretoria from 29 to 30 August 2013.

The two presidents will discuss and concretise cooperation in the key priority areas such as energy, water and health. The promotion of economic relations with special emphasis on trade and investment will also be discussed.
The foreign ministers of India, Salman Khurshid; Brazil, Antonio Patriota; and South Africa, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, reaffirmed that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remained an urgent and key issue for the international community, “the resolution of which is a prerequisite for building a sustainable and lasting peace in the Middle East region”.
The India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) group of countries have backed the United States’ (US) mediation efforts in the Middle East, which have led to the resumption of direct final status negotiations between Palestine and Israel.

“We support the mediation efforts undertaken by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and welcome the announcement of the resumption of direct final status negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.

“This is an encouraging development; one that has the potential for reverting the deadlock and paralysis that have plagued the peace process in recent years. We hope this renewed effort will lead to the full and overdue realisation of a two-state solution based on 1967 borders,” said the group.

The ministers also welcomed the decision of Israel to release 104 Palestinian prisoners, a move they said was a gesture that contributed to the spirit of cooperation surrounding the negotiations.

“We are also pleased with the announcement made on 30 July by Mr Kerry indicating that the Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are committed to reaching a comprehensive peace agreement within nine months. Such an agreement should culminate in the full realisation of an independent Palestinian State,” they said.

The urged the parties to adhere strictly to this timetable, and once again called for the United Nations (UN) Security Council to fully exercise its functions under the UN Charter with regard to the Palestinian question.

The ministers said the council should provide sustained support to the peace process and work towards its full and satisfactory completion. –

The members will participate in the United Nations (UN) Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) as part of the Force Intervention Brigade flowing from the mandate as reflected in the UN Security Council Resolution 2098.

President Jacob Zuma has informed Parliament of the employment of 1 345 members of the South African National Defence Force for service in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in fulfilment of the international obligations of the Republic of South Africa towards the UN.

The deployment has been made in terms of Section 201 (2)(c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa read with Section 93 of the Defence Act, 2002.

The deployment is for the period 13 June 2013 to 31 March 2014. The expenditure expected to be incurred for this employment is R402 800 000.
The pledge also extends to addressing youth unemployment, measures to help reintegrate the unemployed into the labour market, public employment services, and how to improve social security benefits.
The Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, and the Chinese Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, Yin Weimin, have pledged to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in labour market and social security development.

Minister Oliphant, who is heading a departmental delegation on a week-long visit to China, said the collaboration between the two countries was aimed at sharing best practices to accelerate their development.

“It would also be of much value to us if we are able to see labour-intensive projects that are aimed at creating jobs, as we believe that these will be the drivers of employment creation.

“The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will herald a new era in our cooperation and will assist in providing valuable deliverables for both our departments,” she said.

The magnitude of this cooperation, the Minister added, reflected the vision of both countries to work together in order to realise a better future for both nations.
AGOA has benefited both the United States and the African continent and has underpinned a growing and relatively balanced bilateral trade relationship between South Africa and the United States (US).
In the Cabinet statement released last week, Cabinet welcomed the assurance given at the 12th annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum to renew AGOA before it expires in 2015.

The 12th annual AGOA Forum took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 9 to 13 August, under the theme “Sustainable Transformation through Trade and Technology”.

It brought together senior US Administration officials, African government ministers as well as US and African business and civil-society stakeholders.

AGOA enables the 39 eligible sub-Saharan African countries to export most products duty-free to the US. Total African exports under AGOA have more than quadrupled since the programme’s inception. In 2012, AGOA-eligible countries exported nearly $35 billion in products to the US duty free under AGOA and its related Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) provisions. AGOA provides incentives for African countries to improve their investment climates, reduce corruption, respect human and labour rights and the rule of law, improve infrastructure and harmonise trade standards to help them become more competitive in the global marketplace.
The objective of the South African National Pavilion at Facim is to promote and showcase South African potential in general with more focus on the participating companies; to attract potential buyers, distributors and agents; and to raise awareness among the South African industries about the trade opportunities available globally.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Elizabeth Thabethe, is leading a business delegation to the Feira Internacional De Maputo (Facim), scheduled to take place in Maputo, Mozambique, from 26 August to 1 September 2013.

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has identified and participated in selected trade fairs and exhibitions abroad by means of national pavilions and Facim is one of those identified pavilions for the new financial year.

Relations between South Africa and Mozambique are very close, underpinned by the growing ties in trade, investment tourism, migration and security.

“The dti further entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Economic Cooperation signed in 2005. The MoU serves as a framework within which bilateral economic projects are administered,” said Deputy Minister Thabethe.

In 2012, exports from South Africa to Mozambique stood at R18,901 billion and South Africa’s imports from Mozambique stood at R10,401 billion.

Sectors targeted for the trade fair are agriculture and agroprocessing, mining and capital equipment and allied services, electro technical equipment, automotive components, built environment, security equipment and protective gear, and boat-building.
As part of the month’s activities, a National Tourism Career Expo will be held at the East London International Convention Centre between 19 and 21 September 2013 to showcase job opportunities in this growing sector which already employs more than a half million South Africans.
The Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, launched Tourism Month on 28 August 2013 at the Amanzingwe Lodge, Hartbeespoort, under the theme: “Water is Fun.”

Tourism Month is an annual celebration held in September to focus on the importance of tourism to the economy of South Africa.
Stay Connected with us

Your comments are welcome and can be sent to