Media Statement

27 July 2017


Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the media,

Let me first seize this opportunity to welcome you all to this media briefing.

It is my pleasure to brief you on the forthcoming 37th SADC Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held in this building from 10—20 August 2017.

The 37th SADC Ordinary Summit will take place three days before the Republic of Angola holds its general elections, scheduled for 23rd August 2017. The elections in Angola will see President dos Santos stepping down after thirty seven years as President. The SADC Summit therefore is expected not only to bid farewell to President Dos Santos but also to thank him profoundly for his invaluable contribution and role in the liberation struggle in Southern Africa as well as the formation of the then Frontline states and later SADC.

Significantly, the 37th SADC Ordinary Summit will coincide with the twenty-fifth Anniversary of the formation of SADC, formed on 17th August 1992 in Windhoek, Namibia. The total membership has since grown to fifteen member states.

The key strategic objectives of SADC among others include:

  • Promotion of sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development in the Region
  • Promotion of common political values, systems and other shared values through institutions that are democratic, legitimate and effective.
  • Consolidation and maintenance of democracy, peace, security and stability.
  • Promotion of self-sustaining development on the basis of collective self-reliance and interdependence of Member States.
  • Achieving complementarity between national and regional strategies and programmes.
  • Sustainable utilization of natural resources and effective protection of environment.
  • Strengthening of long standing historical, social, and cultural affinities links among the peoples of the Region.


Ladies and gentlemen,

You will recall that it was during the 36th SADC Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in Swaziland in 2016, that President Jacob Zuma was elected as the Incoming Chair of SADC 2016/2017. Hence the hosting by South Africa of the 37th SADC Ordinary Summit during which President Zuma will take over the Chairship of SADC. 

South Africa last chaired SADC in the period August 2008 to August 2009. However, during the intervening period, South Africa chaired the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation from 2011 to 2012 and from 2014 to 2015, respectively.
Ladies and gentlemen,

The theme for South Africa's Chairship is "Partnering with the Private Sector in developing Industry and Regional Value Chains". It is worth noting that the preoccupation of the region at present is regional economic integration. The theme therefore addresses this key priority.

South Africa's theme addresses two key issues to help move the industrialization programme in the region:

  • The first around "Partnering with the Private Sector", is focused on the need to build up the region's capabilities both inside and outside government to support industry; and


  • The second component of the theme around "developing Industry and Regional Value Chains", complements the first, with a focus to attract private sector players into the prioritized value chains.

South Africa therefore seeks to maximise this opportunity and provide guidance on a pragmatic contribution towards the accelerated implementation of the SADC work programme. In this regard, South Africa's strategic direction as Chair of the Summit, will be aimed at achieving two main objectives:

(a) Institutionalisation of the relationship between the governments and the regional private sector; and
(b) Operationalisation of the SADC adopted Industrialisation Policy and its Costed Action Plan.

As part of the build-up towards the Summit, we will be hosting a Regional Industrialisation Week from 31 July to 4 August in Johannesburg. As such, this event creates a platform for engagement between the Public and Private Sectors in relation to the implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Action Plan. 
Ladies and gentlemen,

The substantive agenda items for the Summit, include amongst others:

  • The election of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of Summit. The election of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation;
  • Review of the political and security situation in the region;
  • Update on the implementation of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP 2015-2020);
  • Status of Member States Contributions.


Ladies and gentlemen,

We conclude our briefing on the forthcoming 37th SADC Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government by outlining the general programme thereof.

19 to 20 August 2017: Ordinary Summit
18 August 2017: SADC Double Troika Summit
15 to 16 August 2017: Council of Ministers' Meeting
13 August 2017: Adoption of Annotated Agenda for Council by the Standing Committee of Senior Officials
12 August 2017: Meeting of Finance Committee
10 to 11 August 2017: Standing Committee of Senior Officials' Meeting
Thank you very much.


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