President Jacob Zuma to receive President Sassou-Nguesso to the Republic of South Africa, 08-09 April 2010

President Jacob G. Zuma will receive President Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo for a state visit to the Republic of South Africa scheduled from 08 and 09 April 2010 at the Union Buildings, Pretoria.

The visit takes place within the context of consolidating the African agenda and further maintaining the already strong bilateral relationship between the two countries. Several high level visits have also been exchanged between the two countries with a view to further collaboration in various areas. Numerous Ministerial Visits have taken place, including those of Ministers responsible for Agriculture, Transport, Trade and Industry, Defence, Science and Health, mainly to South Africa.

Amongst others, the following will be discussed by the two heads of State

  • Joint Commission – The JCC which has not taken place and the two countries expressed a desire to hold the commission
  • Economic and Trade Commission (Trade & Investment, transport, agriculture, mines and energy, tourism and industry)
  • Social, Cultural and Technical Commission (Arts and Culture, Health and Social Affairs and Civil Service)

During the State visit it is expected that the following agreements will be signed transport, arts and culture, and economic cooperation also, a business forum will be held on Friday 9 April to coincide with the visit. The forum, which will bring together business people from the two countries, will be addressed by Presidents Zuma and President Sassou-Nguesso respectively President Sassou-Nguesso is also expected to lay a wreath at Freedom Park. 

Bilateral relations between South Africa and Congo were established on 22 March 1993. Cooperation between the two countries operates within the General Cooperation Agreement and a Cooperation agreement instituting a Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) which was signed on 25 November 2003. However, the JCC was never formally launched. Both countries are eager to strengthen their bilateral relations.

South Africa exports various products to Congo that includes juice, fruit and vegetables, parts and accessories of machines; propylene copolymers; front-end shovel loaders; light oils; containers; sodium triphosphate; telephones for cellular networks; mineral waters; cable and other electrical conductor.

Trade Statistics

Year                Trade Balance
2005                R 232,381
2006                R 393,766
2007                R 460,553
2008                R 505,346
2009                R 504,048

The trade balance is in South Africa’s favour.

President Zuma will be accompanied by Ms M Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Ms L Xingwana, Minister of Arts and Culture; Mr R Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry; Dr A Motsoaledi, Minister of Health; Ms F Joemat-Pettersson, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Minister of Health; Mr S Ndebele, Minister of Transport


Venue:           Union Buildings

07:30              : Members of the Media arrive at the Union Building ahead of the guard of honour and the Military band.

10:00              : Welcome Ceremony

                          Photo Opportunity

11:20              : Official proceeding:

                        Photo Opportunity: President Zuma and President Sassou- Nguesso, President Sassou Nguesso and Spouses.

11:30 - 12h00 : Signing of Agreements and Press Conference

For RSVP please contact Matshepo Seedat on 082 679 9473/

Media takes leave

12:30              : Official bilateral meeting: Media in attendance

                       - Opening and Welcome remarks by President J. Zuma
                       - Remarks by President Sassou- Nguesso

                          Media in attendance

14:00              : Arrival of Media at Freedom Park ahead of the wreath laying ceremony
14:15              : Wreath laying ceremony at Freedom Park on Isivivane

                         Photo Opportunity

15:00              : Deputy President to pay Courtesy call on President Sassou-Nguesso at Intercontinental Hotel Towers, Sandton

                        Photo Opportunity

18:30              : Arrival of media at the Presidential Guest house ahead of the State Banquet
                        Venue: Gate 10
                        Presidential Guest House
                        Bryntirion Estate, Pretoria
19:20              : President Zuma receives President Sassou-Nguesso
                        Photo Opportunity
19:30              : Welcome remarks by President Zuma;
                        Remarks by President Sassou-Nguesso
Media in attendance

FRIDAY, 09 April 2010

Intercontinental Towers Hotel, Sandton

09:00 - 10:00

Business Forum
Address by President Jacob Zuma on bilateral economic relations between RSA and Congo
Response by President Sassou-Nguesso

Media in attendance for remarks only. 

Contact Mr Sidwell Modupi on 012 394 1777

End of media programme

For further information please contact Chief Director for Public Diplomacy Kgomotso Saul Molobi on

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag x152

07 April 2010

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