President Mbeki to host Canadian Governor-General Michaelle
Pretoria - South African President Thabo Mbeki will host the
Canadian Governor-General Michaëlle Jean on her first State Visit to South
Africa scheduled for 1-8 December 2006. While in South Africa the Governor-General
will visit Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
President Mbeki will
host Governor-General Jean within the context of South Africa's commitment to
consolidate the African agenda through, among others, the promotion of North-South
co-operation through the Group of 8 (G-8).
The Governor-General's visit
to South Africa is part of a five-legged African visit which will see the Governor-General
also visiting Algeria, Mali, Ghana and Morocco.
Issues on the agenda for
discussion at the Union Buildings on Tuesday, 5 December 2006, are expected to
include, among others:
· The status of bilateral political and economic
relations between both countries; · A briefing on operationalisation
of the institutions of the African Union and the implementation of NEPAD seeing
that Canada has strongly supported that both these issues be included on the agenda
of the G-8; · Conflict resolution and peacekeeping in Africa; and ·
Other issues of multilateral importance including the need to restore the centrality
of multilateralism, the comprehensive reform of the United Nations and South Africa's
election to the United Nations Security Council 2007-2008 as a non-permanent member.
South Africa - Canada bilateral relations have grown exponentially since President
Mbeki's State Visit to Canada in November 2003. Bilateral relations are conducted
largely within the framework of the Annual Consultations (AC) which were first
held in Pretoria in 2004.
There is regular contact and interaction between
most government departments and their Canadian counterparts and a significant
increase in the number of departmental and provincial visits to Canada has been
recorded. Eleven ministerial and deputy ministerial visits to Canada took place
this year. There have been reciprocal engagements between the legislatures, such
as the Portfolio Committees on Defence, Public Works, Security and Constitutional
Affairs, Finance and Oversight Committees.
Most of the interaction is
centred on capacity building and skills development. The significant growth in
co-operation, across a broad spectrum of areas, was evident at the 3rd Annual
Consultations held in Pretoria, in May 2006. The agenda featured Trade and Investment,
Science and Technology, Arts and Culture, Agriculture, and Minerals and Energy,
Bilateral Co-operation Projects
areas of bilateral co-operation include the following:
negotiations are taking place to establish a framework for co-operation that would
facilitate exchange of health professionals, research and funding. Following the
visit of a high level scoping mission to South Africa late last year, agreement
was reached at the 3rd Annual Consultations in May this year to focus on 18 areas
A Country Development Policy Framework
(CPDF), the first of its kind, was signed between South Africa and Canada in 2003.
Canadian development assistance to South Africa amounts to about R100 million
per year. The assistance is focussed mainly on strengthening service delivery
in HIV and AIDS, rural development and good governance. During the 3rd Annual
Consultations, three Declarations of Intent were signed earmarking funding in
the fields of HIV and AIDS, Governance and Rural Development. An overall ODA Treaty
that will unlock further Bilateral Canadian funding will be signed before the
visit of the Governor General. Canada also sees South Africa as a partner in achieving
its development goals on the continent, rather than being only a net receiver
Arts and Culture:
In November 2003, the two countries
signed a Joint Declaration of Intent to develop a Framework for Cultural Co-operation
which identified three areas of interest, viz: Exchange of Arts and Cultural Experts,
Performance Management; and Governance and Art Bank. The two countries have also
signed a Co-Production Agreement which has resulted in a number of films being
There have been positive signs of progress
in the area of funding for tertiary education. Dalhousie University in Halifax,
as administrator of the South African Student Education Project (SASEP), offers
scholarships to South African students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
Minerals and Energy
There is a high level of co-operation
in the field of mining. The Annual Prospectors and Developers Association (PDAC)
Convention, held in Toronto, provides an opportunity to promote the South African
mining sector and to exchange information with Canadian counterparts. Science
Canada and South Africa's Science and Technology (S&T)
relationship has been good in terms of the development of South Africa's Science
and Technology strategy and the role that the IDRC has played in the past. Canada
views South Africa as a strategic S&T partner in the SADC region. Areas of
co-operation identified include the Earth Science Sector (ESS) division of National
Resources Canada (NRCan), which is currently working with the Medical Research
Council (MRC) to develop a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) and ICT geomatics
for a public health platform for policy decision makers; identifying the use of
modern geospatial technologies for natural disaster management and to address
development issues in the SADC region. There will also be a focus on Human Capital
Development that will look at Canada's experience in the retention of science
intellectual capacity and the lessons to be learnt by South Africa. The Council
for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will submit a proposal to NRCan
to promote SDI in Africa.
Human Resource Development/Skills Exchange:
Banking SETA Exchange Project has been successful for the second consecutive year.
Selected senior South African banking executives from previously disadvantaged
groups trained for six weeks with leading financial institutions in Toronto and
Following the signing of a twinning agreement between the University
of Pretoria and the University of New Brunswick in 2004, much progress has been
achieved. The Operational Framework for Post Settlement Support for Restitution
Farmers was drafted in 2006 and a project for the implementation of three pilot
restitution farms is underway through CIDA funding.
Canada enjoys a high
standing in the area of capacity building and skills development as illustrated
by the increasing number of delegations, both on national and provincial level,
and the private sector, to learn from Canadian models. Canada has also offered
technical assistance for the establishment of a database of skills needs and processes
People to People Co-operation:
The recent interest
and increase in the activity of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund among schools
in Ottawa is a positive sign of the support that Canada is giving to South Africa.
The Adopt-a-School Project is another example of a successful collaboration between
Canada and South Africa. Funds are committed for schools and to the purchase of
Several Canadian non-government organisations
have initiated projects in, for example, the Western Cape, Alexandra and in Soweto
to improve health care in clinics and in building schools for children in those
Sport and Recreation co-operation
An interim extension
to the Memorandum of Understanding is in the process of being finalised. The MoU
will allow for co-operation with the Under-21 Soccer World Cup to be hosted by
Canada in 2007 and the 2010 Soccer World Cup to be hosted by South Africa.
Peacekeeping on the Continent
Discussions are ongoing to identify
avenues of closer co-operation in this area between South Africa and Canada, both
being prominent players in peacekeeping on the continent. Canada is the only country
that has been involved in every UN peacekeeping operation in Africa to date.
Trade and investment
South Africa is Canada's leading trading
partner in Africa and there is scope to grow bilateral trade. Canadian investments
in South Africa are mainly geared toward the mining sector, with 17 Canadian exploration
and mining companies active in South Africa, representing capital assets of 1.4
billion Canadian dollars. At the 3rd Annual Consultations, mining investments,
including BEE issues, featured prominently in discussions between the Canadian
participants and the Departments of Trade and Industry and Minerals and Energy.
Bilateral trade is largely linked to the mining sector, with the bulk
of South Africa's exports to Canada comprising mineral products, base metals,
prepared foodstuffs and vegetable products. Major imports comprise of machinery
and mechanical appliances, vehicles, aircraft, dairy and vegetable products, vessels
and associated component and mineral products. Bilateral trade amounts to around
R4 billion per annum. In 2005, South Africa registered a small trade deficit against
Canada, due to a growth in imports from Canada and a marginal drop in exports.
The appreciation of the Rand also led to a rise in the price of precious metals,
which culminated in a decline in exports. Base metals and mineral products constitute
about 57.60% of South Africa's total exports to Canada. The Department of Trade
and Industry has identified food and beverage, ICT, the film and mining industries
as sectors to be earmarked for diversification of trade with Canada.
Trade (R'000 current prices)
(R'000 current prices)
Source: Customs & Excise
major investment from Canada includes the stake of the Bombardier Consortium which
has been awarded a contract worth US$1.650 million towards the Gautrain Project.
Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853 Department of Foreign
Affairs Private Bag X152 Pretoria 0001