Deputy Ministers Aziz Pahad and Davison Mulela Conclude Bilateral Discussions in Tshwane

Tshwane - South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad today, Monday 3 October 2005, concluded political and economic discussions with his Zambian counterpart Davison Mulela at the Diplomatic Guesthouse in Tshwane.

Deputy Ministers Pahad and Mulela discussed the Agreement on the Establishment of a Commission for the Operationalisation of the 1996 General Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Zambia on Co-operation in the Economic, Social, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Fields.

Both Deputy Ministers highlighted the need to increase trade and investment co-operation between the two countries. In this regard, the Deputy Ministers called on the South African private sector to embark on joint venture partnerships with their Zambian counterparts.

In this context the two parties undertook to, amongst other things, finalise the conclusion of the agreement on the Reciprocal Protection and Promotion of Investments.

Deputy Ministers Pahad and Mulela expressed satisfaction with the status of bilateral political relations between both countries, evidenced by President Thabo Mbeki's participation in Zambia's 40th Anniversary of Independence celebrations in Lusaka in October last year and Zambian President Levy Manawasa's participation in South Africa's 10th Anniversary of Democracy celebrations in April 2004.

With Zambia scheduled to hold elections in 2006 and South African local elections to be held early next year, both sides also expressed common positions on the advancement of democracy, protection of human rights and the fight against corruption in their respective countries.

Deputy Ministers Pahad and Mulela also agreed to strengthen inter-party relations between both countries.

In terms of bilateral economic relations, South Africa is Zambia's main export destination and is the largest investor in Zambia (after the United Kingdom.)
In addition, South African Tourism (SATOUR) is encouraging tour operators to market a "Visit Zambia Campaign," while South African Airways has implemented new flights between both countries.

Both Deputy Ministers Pahad and Mulela agreed to encourage increased private sector involvement in their respective countries in order to strengthen economic relations. In this regard, many areas including tourism and the development of the fishing industry especially fish farming remain open to investigation.

Both parties further discussed their co-operation in:

  • SADC;
  • NEPAD; and
  • The reform of the United Nations. In this regard Deputy Ministers Pahad and Mulela reiterated their support for the Ezulweni Consensus.

Discussions also looked at the visit by Zambian Foreign Minister Lt Gen Shikapwasha to South Africa scheduled for 18-19 October 2005.

Finally, close relations were forged between both countries during the days of the struggle against apartheid. Zambia had since independence became a host to many Southern African liberation movements including South Africa's ruling party the ANC, whose headquarters were based in Lusaka. In order to honour the fallen South African heroes of the liberation in Zambia, a cleansing and healing ceremony will be held in Lusaka in November 2005 in co-operation with the Freedom Park Trust.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
0001

3 October 2005

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa