Joint Communiqué on the occasion of the State Visit to France by the President of the Republic of South Africa, 2 – 3 March 2011

On the occasion of the State Visit to France of the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Jacob G Zuma, at the invitation of the President of the French Republic, Mr Nicolas Sarkozy, the two Heads of State declare as follows:

That, France and South Africa share a common vision of a world where multilateralism, international law and the conduct of relations between states on the basis of equity and fairness provide the foundation for building a more peaceful and prosperous world.  They recognise that the promotion of the freedoms and rights of all peoples all over the world is in the long-term of interest to us all.  The two countries share a fundamental commitment to promoting peace, security, stability, prosperity and democracy on the continent of Africa, in the full realisation that the success or failure of Africa cannot be divorced from the success or failure of Europe, or indeed the world.

That, the strategic partnership between France and South Africa, which was reinforced during the State Visit of President Sarkozy to South Africa in February 2008, builds on this common vision and today aims at reaching an even higher level.


Consultative Mechanisms

That, the Forum for Political Dialogue, which is held with great success at the level of the Director-General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, will also meet on a regular basis at ministerial level. The next meeting of the two ministers will take place on a date to be determined through the diplomatic channel.

That, in addition, a Forum for Economic Dialogue has been established to foster discussions on global and bilateral economic issues between the two Treasuries. The first meeting of the Forum will take place in Paris on 3 March 2011.

That, given the importance of Africa, the parties have agreed to hold annual high level discussions on African matters of mutual interest. These discussions, which include representatives from civil society, will continue to focus on political, socio-economic and reconstruction and development issues, with a view to deepen a common understanding and possibly launch joint initiatives, including trilateral development cooperation activities in third countries on the African continent.

People-to-people cooperation

Both Heads of State have endorsed the hosting of Reciprocal Seasons, which will consist of a French Season in South Africa in 2012 and a South African Season in France in 2013, with a view to fostering closer people-to-people relations between the two countries. These seasons, held in different regions of each country, will cover a wide range of fields, including culture, trade and investment, science and technology, and tourism, with wide media coverage.

Military and Defence Cooperation

That, the defence cooperation relationship is a particularly comprehensive one and includes: A Defence Strategic Dialogue, held annually and co-chaired by the Secretary for Defence and the Director of Strategic Affairs; a Defence Committee on Military Cooperation and the Defence Industry; and operational cooperation based on training and exercises between the two forces. The parties recognized that the level of cooperation can be further improved and committed themselves to pursuing this.

Development Cooperation

That France has become one of the key development partners of South Africa in recent years. The five national priorities of South Africa – education, health, job creation, the fight against crime and rural development – as well as the promotion of a greener economy and the efforts to combat climate change, guide the new Framework Partnership Document for 2011 – 2013 signed during the visit.

Since 1994, French companies operating in South Africa, have created approximately 30 000 jobs for South Africans and another 30 000 jobs have been created through French Development Agency (AFD) funded programmes and projects. During the same period, the French Development Agency’s commitments have exceeded 1.5 billion Euros and it is now the second bilateral donor in South Africa, due to an increase in loans to finance large development projects.

That, the AFD will also commit in the range of one billion Euros over the next three years, a large part of which will be dedicated to the support of the multi-sectoral large cities programme and another part to the support of major public infrastructure projects. During the State Visit, three agreements for a total amount of €370 millions have been signed.

That, given the success of the partnership between the AFD, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris, as well as the National Empowerment Fund in training South African junior managers in France, the Parties will consider extending the programme in both scope and time.

Trade and Investment

That, the Parties welcome the development of their bilateral economic exchanges in recent years and agree that there are many opportunities to expand this relationship, including in high value manufactured goods. The Parties note, in particular, the contracts signed in 2010 for aircraft and power equipment. France and South Africa recognize the strategic importance of developing investments between the two countries and joint business partnerships in Africa. Both countries will continue to encourage the private sector’s involvement in enhancing bilateral trade. The South African-French Business Forum will continue to play a decisive role in identifying new avenues for cooperation and further improving the business climate between the two countries.

Energy and Technology

That, France and South Africa have pledged to enhance their cooperation in the field of energy and have reaffirmed their shared commitment to an innovative, broad-based and dynamic partnership, especially in the field of renewable energy and civil nuclear energy. In this context, the meeting in Paris in February 2011 of the French and South African Ministers of Energy in the framework of the bilateral Cooperation Agreement on Energy represents a significant milestone. In follow-up to this meeting, the parties have agreed to conclude a Road Map on Energy to guide future cooperation in this field. The two countries have furthermore decided to pursue cooperation in the field of energy by strengthening their exchanges, including research and development and in establishing joint projects for nuclear energy, in particular in the area of training engineers, safety and radioactive waste management. This partnership will rely on the finalisation of a cooperation agreement on the use of civil nuclear power.

That, this partnership will also be affirmed, while working towards setting a legal framework to their cooperation in the nuclear field.  The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA) will sign Letters of Intent with AREVA, expanding cooperation between AREVA and NECSA in nuclear fuel and other nuclear technology areas, and with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, (CEA) to engage in strategic exchanges in public understanding of nuclear issues and in co-operation in nuclear research and development topics.

That, France is one of the main international partners of South Africa in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation. During the first Joint Committee meeting held in Pretoria, South Africa on 9 April 2009, the two countries expressed their wish to intensify this cooperation, in particular through the promotion of cooperation in areas such as nanotechnology, support for the Technology Innovation Agency, access to large facilities for South African researchers and engagement in Africa. In an effort to ensure that this objective is realised, the Department of Science and Technology will undertake a scoping mission to France in March 2011, to visit strategic science and technology institutions and to host the second Joint Committee meeting to agree on new areas of cooperation. The outstanding results obtained by the French South African Institute of Technology in training young South African engineers in ICT pave the way for a renewed and enlarged cooperation between the South African and French Universities

Indian Ocean Co-operation

France and South Africa are neighbouring countries in the Southern part of the Indian Ocean. In 2009 France and South Africa made a joint submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in respect of the continental shelf around the Prince Edward Islands and the Crozet Archipelago. Moreover, the parties are willing to share the burden of surveillance of these vast maritime areas and, to this end, are currently negotiating an agreement on cooperation in the maritime areas adjacent to the Southern and Antarctic territory of, Marion Island and Prince Edward Island. Both sides undertook to carry out joint activities in other fields of cooperation, in these geographical areas.

Security and Administration

That, cooperation in the field of safety and security is also a key component of the strategic partnership between France and South Africa. Based on a 1998 Police Cooperation Agreement, this long-term cooperation aiming at promoting the best policing practices for the safety of both the South African and French people, has been implemented through numerous capacity-building and experience-sharing programmes, including a successful preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The parties express the wish to maintain and even raise the level of this cooperation.

That, following the May 2010 mission of the French Ministry of Interior to South Africa, the possibilities of cooperation in matters of local and administrative governance are being explored, both as a dialogue on institutions and as an exchange of best practices with a view to the reciprocal strengthening of capacities among civil servants and local elected officials.

African Agenda

That, South Africa has noted, with interest, the implementation of the measures announced by President Sarkozy in February 2008 in Cape Town with regard to France’s policy towards Africa, in particular in the field of defence and development issues.

That, France welcomes the role that South Africa is playing in promoting the African Agenda. In support of the African Agenda, President Sarkozy launched the Initiative for Growth and Employment in February 2008 in Cape Town. This initiative, aimed at creating in five years, directly or indirectly, 300 000 jobs in Africa, by supporting the private sector, have already committed approximately 1,7 billion Euros of a total envisaged amount   of 2,5 billion Euros.

That, France and South Africa are committed to promoting and contributing to peace, security and stability on the African continent. In this regard, they express the will to further explore areas of cooperation within global and regional peace and security structures.

Multilateral Cooperation

G20 and COP 17

That, South Africa supports the objectives of the French G20 presidency. Both countries agree that the G20 needs to take further steps towards achieving the shared objectives of ensuring a full return to growth with quality jobs, a reformed and strengthened global financial system, and a solid foundation for strong, sustainable and balanced growth. France and South Africa share the view that it is important to explore ways to improve the international monetary system to ensure systemic stability in the global economy and to fight excessive commodity price volatility.

That, they both welcome the significant achievements made in 2010 in modernizing key international financial institutions and call for further progress on issues of global governance.

That, both countries welcome the adoption of a Multi-year Action Plan on Development and are fully committed to ensuring its implementation by the G20 members. Both countries, as Co-Chairs of the G20 Development Working Group, are committed to making meaningful progress on the Development Agenda in cooperation with the previous G20 President, South Korea. Under the French presidency, South Africa plans to host a G20 workshop on development issues. South Africa and France are both members of the Leading Group on Innovative Financing, which explore ways of identifying additional resource flows for the financing of development and the fight against climate change. In particular, within the framework of their respective presidencies of the G20 and COP17 and all along this year, they have committed to further working on the mobilization of sustainable and predictable funds to combat climate change, including from innovative sources of finance, on the basis of the AGF report (e.g. carbon and financial transaction taxes).

That, France and South Africa reiterate their conviction that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and welcome the Agreement reached in Cancun in December 2010, as well as the subsequent creation of the Green Fund. The two countries therefore call on the implementation of this Agreement and will take the opportunity of their presidencies, respectively of the COP 17 and of the G20, to join their efforts in order to make significant progress in the fight against climate change and to agree upon a fair and equitable global post-2012 regime.

More precisely, France and South Africa have a common priority in promoting, simultaneously a low carbon economy for all countries, while aiming at developing appropriate green technologies. These priorities are part of the ongoing dialogue within the G20, especially concerning the financing of the transition towards low carbon economies in developing countries, in connection with the AGF report and the objective to secure 100 billion US dollars per annum by 2020. The preservation of global public goods is a common responsibility for the international community. The Parties have to work on an ambitious reform on international governance, and France as President of the G20 and South Africa as Co-President of the UN High Panel on Global Sustainability, have a special role to play. In that regard, France and South Africa have great expectations for a successful outcome of the Rio+20 Summit scheduled to take place in Brazil in May 2012. 

Transboundary Waters and 6th World Water Forum

That, South Africa and France share the objective to strengthen regional cooperation on transboundary water resources. France encourages the full participation of South African authorities and stakeholders in the 6th World Water Forum to be held in Marseille in March 2012. France welcomes the work of the African Ministers Council on Water under the South African presidency.

Cooperation within the United Nations Security Council

That, France welcomes the return of South Africa to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member for 2011 and 2012 and the contribution South Africa will make to the work of the Council. Both countries are determined to create a close and trusting working relationship on all major issues, especially on Africa. France and South Africa are committed to make the Security Council more effective and representative. This implies in particular to grant Africa an appropriate representation

International security and stability

That, France and South Africa support the maintenance of international peace and security through multilateral means. They also shared their commitment to contribute to the fight against piracy, terrorism and all threats affecting global security.

Done at Paris, France, on 2 March 2011


For further information please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for DIRCO, on  082-884-5974  or Mr. Zizi Kodwa, spokesperson for the President on  082-330-4910


OR Tambo Building
Private bag X152

2 March 2011

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