Minister Dlamini Zuma to Review Bilateral Co-operation Projects between South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Tshwane - South African Foreign Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will on Tuesday, 29 November 2005, depart for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where she will review and assess bilateral co-operation projects between South Africa and the DRC.

This visit by Minister Dlamini Zuma to the DRC comes within the context of South Africa's commitment to contribute to post-conflict reconstruction and development in the DRC. The South African government strongly supports political, economic, infrastructural and societal development in any country that emerges from conflict since development is a pre-cursor to peace, security and stability.

In this regard, the South African government is currently engaged in various projects with the DRC government, viz:

  • Reform of the DRC's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation:

Human resource development and diplomatic training; improvement of information technology skills and communication; refurbishment of the Ministry; capacity-building; and structural reform;

  • Election management and preparation:

Voter registration and education; recruitment and training of electoral staff; development of logistical and infra-structural capacity; development of information technology skills; conflict resolution; acquisition of equipment; and voting and results collection.

  • Compilation of a population register:

Provision of equipment; and deployment of skilled task teams for the gathering and registration of accurate population statistics.

  • Public service reform:

Institutional capacity-building; registration of civil servants; and development of anti-corruption mechanisms.

  • Security sector reform:

Integration of armed forces and police training; deployment of the South African Defence Integration and Training Team to assist with the process of disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration; registration and identification of armed forces; provision of support equipment, including vehicles and medical assistance; intelligence capacity-building; infra-structural projects for training facilities; operational commanders training; development of radio communication systems; and electoral security training.

The visit by Minister Dlamini Zuma also comes ahead of the national referendum regarding the adoption of the Draft Constitution scheduled for 18 December 2005. The Draft Constitution was adopted by the National Assembly and the Senate on 13 May 2005, an event attended by President Thabo Mbeki.

The South African government also recognises and supports the work of the United Nations Organisation Mission in the DRC (MONUC). South Africa has provided 1 390 personnel to its peacekeeping operations, accompanied by 15 staff officers and 3 military observers. These troops remain committed to carrying out the operational tasks entrusted to them by MONUC and the UN Security Council. On 28 October 2005, MONUC's mandate was extended by the UN Security Council to September 2006, in order to assist the DRC through its electoral process.

Minister Dlamini Zuma will depart from the DRC on Tuesday, 29 November 2005 for Bamako, Mali where she will attend the Ministerial Meeting on 1 December 2005 ahead of the Franco-Africa Summit scheduled from 2-3 December 2005.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

28 November 2005

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