Toast by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on the Occasion
of the Official Lunch in Honour of Indonesian Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla
and Delegation, Tuynhuys, Cape Town: 28 September 2005
Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers
from both Governments
Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Community
Officials from both Governments
Business Community Representatives
Ladies and Gentlemen
Please allow me, on behalf of the South African
Government, to warmly welcome Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla and his delegation
to the beautiful city of Cape Town!
As South Africans, we are very honoured
by the presence of our Indonesian friends and we trust that our guests are having
a memorable, fruitful and enjoyable visit to our country.
Given the historical
links between South Africa and Indonesia, it is appropriate that this visit comes
to an end here in Cape Town, where the spiritual leader Sheikh Yusuf, who was
honoured earlier this week for his struggle against colonial oppression, spent
his final years before he died on 23 May 1699.
Ladies and gentlemen
the seventeenth century, trade with the so-called "Spice Islands" or
"East Indies" was regarded as of such importance to European colonial
powers that fierce battles were fought to secure control over trade
that provided access to what is known today as Indonesia.
During those times,
the Dutch dominated inter-continental trade with the "East" and colonialism
and slavery advanced the economic interests of the traders. South Africa was assigned
the role of halfway refreshment station between Europe and the "East"
to service this lucrative trade route by providing fresh produce and water to
passing merchant ships. "The Cape" was colonised and European farmers
settled here to supply the halfway station's fresh produce.
Slaves and labourers
from Indonesia were brought to the Cape Colony and, together with labourers and
slaves from here and other parts of Africa, they formed the backbone of the labour
force that facilitated this East-West trade route.
Ladies and gentlemen
South Africa and Indonesia are no longer colonies whose fate and strategic importance
are determined by others.
Just as Indonesia's role in the global economy
has changed from source of spices to Europe to major producer of oil and manufactured
goods, so has the refreshment station on a colonial trade route become one of
the strongest economies in Africa.
After long and difficult political struggles
for independence and freedom, our nations have won the sovereign right to determine
our own futures and to work together to create a better world for all, free from
the injustices of the past such as colonialism and racial oppression.
strategic partners - by own choice - and as emerging economies representing different
parts of the "South", South Africa and Indonesia have played leading
roles in bringing our regions together to enhance mutual benefit.
consistently pursued a shared commitment to increase awareness of the importance
of inter-regional co-operation. Following the successful co-hosting of the Africa-Asia
Summit in Jakarta during April this year, South Africa and our regional partners
from the African Union are now keen to take the partnership with our compatriots
from Asia forward. The New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) adopted
at the summit provides a perfect joint vision towards improved inter-regional
ties and lies at the core of Africa's interaction with Asia.
It is therefore
in our hands and no longer in the hands of colonisers, to create links, opportunities
and sustainable trade routes that would benefit the people of our regions. All
that is needed is follow-up action to implement the joint goals and commitments
that were agreed upon and envisaged at the summit.
During this visit to
South Africa by Vice President Kalla and his delegation, we have confirmed the
convergence of views between our countries regarding issues of global political
and economic importance.
We agree for example on issues such as the imperatives
for fair and equitable participation by all in the benefits of globalisation.
We agree on the importance of making an impact on the lives of millions of people
internationally who continue to live in conditions of under-development and poverty.
members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), we both realise the responsibilities
we have to work together closely in promoting the ideals of South-South co-operation,
as well as to promote North-South Dialogue.
As the world experienced recently
in preparation for the 60th United Nations General Assembly, there is an urgent
need for improved multilateral mechanisms to drive the reform of global governance
institutions so that they better reflect and represent the international community
in all its diversity.
In all these ways, South Africa and Indonesia have
a common appreciation of the importance of inter-regional co-operation to promote
international development and progress that will benefit our children.
South Africa and Indonesia have excellent bilateral relations
built on solid foundations, dating back to the Bandung Africa-Asia Conference
of 1955, exactly fifty years ago.
The support that South Africa's liberation
movements received from the people of Indonesia during the difficult years of
Apartheid, will always be remembered and appreciated. Indonesians who suffered
similarly to obtain their freedom understood what we were going through.
we established diplomatic relations in 1994, bilateral ties and trade between
our countries have expanded fast. The Joint Commission Agreement signed in March
2004 will ensure a more co-ordinated approach in pursuit of common bilateral interests
and we welcome the fact that the Joint Commission will soon hold its first meeting.
are many opportunities to further expand our relations, especially as far as foreign
direct investment is concerned. Areas that offer potential include amongst others
banking, minerals and energy affairs, the airline industry, tourism, education
and arts and culture.
From a regional perspective, the main challenge remains
that of finding synergies between the opportunities of the New Economic Partnership
for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the areas of co-operation that the New Asian-African
Strategic Partnership (NAASP) envisages.
As Africans we are convinced that
"the sky is the limit" as far as possibilities between Africa and Asia
Co-operation between sub-regions should also be promoted,
such as between the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the Association
of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), as long as our joint goal remains to promote
the interests of all Asia and Africa.
With our vast joint resources and
technological innovation of the kind we have seen in our Asian Tiger compatriots,
trade routes between our regions will no doubt in time become more important than
the spice trade route around the "Cape Colony" of the seventeenth century!
behalf of President Thabo re-iterate South Africa's condolences to the government
and people of Indonesia on the Tsunami disaster that hit the Sumatra Islands on
26 December 2004. He also congratulate Vice-President Kale, his government and
the Indonesian people on successfully managing and co-ordination of relief efforts
during those difficult times.
In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, I would
like to sincerely thank Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla and his delegation
for visiting South Africa and for attending the National Orders Awards Ceremony
in Pretoria in recognition of the contributions and sacrifices made by Sheikh
May the special friendship between our countries and the goodwill
between our people continue to strengthen, as we draw benefit from one another
in developing our countries and as work towards achieving our shared vision of
a better world for all.
Ladies and gentlemen
Please allow me, on behalf
of the Government and the people of South Africa to propose a toast on the excellent
relations between South Africa and Indonesia, as well as on the good health of
Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla and his delegation.
I thank you!
Presidency: Republic of South Africa