Status on the steps taken by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation regarding the Piracy in the Mozambican Channel which will affect South Africa’s relations with the rest of the world in terms of Trade and Cooperation

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National Assembly

For written reply

Question no:  729 (NW798E)

Mr LS Ngonyama (Cope) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:

Whether she has found that the presence of piracy in the Mozambican Channel will affect South Africa’s relations with the rest of the world in terms of trade and cooperation: if not, why not; if so, what steps have been taken to (a) counter the presence of piracy in the Mozambican channel and (b) disrupt piracy from moving even further south?

Reply

South Africa recognises that piracy activities on the global stage may threaten to distort world trade as higher premiums for shipping are making trade more expensive and frequent attacks had driven up insurance costs.  The South African Government together with the SADC countries has noted with great concern the growing levels of piracy activities in and around the Gulf of Eden, particularly the southward spread of these activities to the Mozambican Channel.  South Africa’s main priority is to ensure smooth trade and safe movements of cargo within the SADC Maritime Zone.  In response to the southward spread and threat of piracy in the Mozambican Channel, the South African Government has in collaboration with the Mozambican authorities decided to deploy SS Mendi for routine patrol along the Mozambican Channel.  South African and Mozambique have good bilateral relations and share common borders both in land and the sea.  The two Governments are in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding on the Conduct of the Combined Maritime Patrols within the Territory of the Republic of Mozambique with a view to curbing piracy and other illegal activities within the territorial waters of Mozambique before these activities spill over down to the territorial waters of South Africa.  In addition to these measures, the South African Government is considering other measures including assisting Somalia to deal with her political challenges which have a direct effect on the piracy phenomenon.

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