Remarks by Deputy Minsiter Aziz Pahad on Commencement of 4th Session of South Africa - Mozambique Joint Permanent Commission for Co-operation, Colosseum Hotel, Tshwane, South Africa, Monday, 31 October 2005

  • Introductory remarks and welcome by Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad

  • Deputy Minister Koloma, this the first session of the South Africa-Mozambique Joint Permanent Commission for Co-operation being co-chaired with you since you were appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation. I am very pleased to welcome you to the family of foreign affairs.

  • We are very pleased with the growth of our relations of friendship, solidarity, good neighbourliness and mutually beneficial co-operation between our countries and peoples. This has established a very base for us to continue to work together to address the common challenge to provide a better life for both our peoples.

  • This is however, not a new phenomenon. The people of South Africa are very mindful that we could not have achieved liberation without tremendous sacrifices by countries like Mozambique and others we referred to as the "frontline states."

  • Through this awareness, it becomes increasingly apparent that we must all play our parts to ensure stability and development for all in SADC and throughout the Continent.

  • We are pleased to have as our partner in the advancement of democracy and continental unity the people of Mozambique who continue to be true standard bearers of African commitment to making this century the African century.

  • The various roles played by Mozambique in various continental fora indicate your commitment to this. We are certain that under the leadership of Mozambique that we can ensure SADC will become the vibrant organisation it must become.

  • As you know, the SA-Mozambique JPCC was instituted on 20 July 1994, as one of the first such commissions between South Africa and its partners. We have since enjoyed very favourable relations. This forum sits on a biannual reciprocal basis. At the last meeting in Mozambique in 2003 we reviewed progress since the implementation of the JPCC. I am certain that in the next two days our high-level delegations will critically assess the achievements and blockages in this forum and strive to unblock them.

  • There are 25 agreements signed between both countries covering various spheres of co-operation, inter alia, Fisheries; the Maputo Harbour; Agricultural development; Natural Gas Trade; Demining; the Maputo Development Corridor; a Joint Water Commission, Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments and Customs Administration.

  • Our relations with Mozambique are unique in that, in addition to the JPCC at Deputy Ministerial level, we have a Heads of State Economic Bilateral Commission that is chaired by our respective Heads of State. This was implemented in 1997. Since then there has been major progress in economic co-operation between our two countries.

  • This forum that meets twice a year in unique and is being repeated with other SADC countries. Chaired by our Heads of State, economic relations that will ultimately reflect our political relations, is given impetus at the highest levels.

  • In this regard, the JPCC must not duplicate the work of the Economic Bilateral Forum. It must indeed be a complimentary forum to further consolidate the work of our Heads of State and perhaps give them an indication of where the blockages in our relations are so that they can give directions to unblock these blockages. In this regard, let me mention that the JPCC consists of four clusters:

  • Cluster 1 Migration, Labour, Health, Security and Defence;
  • Cluster 2 Foreign Affairs, Fisheries, Women, Children and Social Action, Youth and Sports, Public Administration, Provincial and Local Government, Education, Science and Technology, Arts and Culture
  • Cluster 3 Trade and Industry, Banking and Finance, Investment, Agriculture and Rural Development and Technical co-operation
  • Cluster 4 Transport, Communication, Tourism, Environment, Meterology, Water Affairs and Forestry Issues, Public Works, Energy and Mining.

  • I am happy to note that our officials met in Maputo in August 2005 - they will give some feedback on their deliberations to this forum.

Mozambique is South Africa's second largest export market, with trade having increased dramatically over the past three years. South Africa is currently Mozambique's largest foreign investor. Foreign Direct Investment by South Africa in Mozambique exceeds US$ 7 billion.

South Africa and Mozambique's economic relationship is the strongest in the Southern Africa region. Trade between the two countries is on the increase, with 57.2% of Mozambique's imports emanating from South Africa (18% of South Africa's exports to Africa). About 26.2% of Mozambique exports are destined for South Africa.

SOUTH AFRICA - MOZAMBIQUE TRADE

YearSA ExportsSA Imports
20026,418,899403,165
20035,676,203280,806
20045,077,739204,845
  • Minister like you, we are in agreement that our institutions must be strengthened if Africa is to meet its developmental challenges. At the last SADC summit in Gaborone in August 2005, our successes and challenges were identified. We realised that our institutions were not strong enough to deal with the introduction of the RISDP and SIPHO. We have also taken too long to implement recommendations of the various working groups in SADC.

  • I believe that SADC will begin to reflect a new dynamism with the election of Mozambican former Foreign Minister Dr Simao as the new Executive Secretary.

  • However, if matters continue as presently, SADC will not meet its predefined targets - for instance, regional economic integration will not be achieved by 2012 and SADC will fail to become the engine for NEPAD.

  • If SADC does not become strong, we will be unable to achieve our objectives of African renewal.

  • The latest UN Social Development Report is very dire in this regard. While it correctly identified some of our achievements, it reflected that this trend was not extended to the whole of Africa. Indeed, the African situation as a whole becomes increasingly dire. Our continent is the only continent that continues to get poorer. The vast majority of our people are worse off than they were 20 years ago. We are very pleased to note that Mozambique is one of Africa's success stories.

  • If we cannot get NEPAD to work, Africa will be the only continent in the world that will not achieve the MDGs.

  • We must make NEPAD work. In this regard, matters like food security are becoming increasingly serious in many of our countries.

  • Regarding the AU - I am happy to note that both our countries have acceded to the African Peer Review Mechanism. This is again unique in that it represents Africa's answer to the world that thinks it can force feed democracy to us. South Africa will be reviewed next year. In this regard, we have already set-up our institutions necessary to the review process.

  • I myself am very disappointed that the Millennium Development Summit and UN 60th Session in New York in September 2005 did not meet our expectations. There was a great failure to deal with some of the more fundamental issues - not just Security Council reform - but the definition of terrorism, the peace building commission, commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, etc. This is again a serious indictment on the developed countries in their lack of political will to deal comprehensively with issues that affect the underdeveloped countries.

  • Both our countries have a vast and serious responsibility that transcends our two countries - we have a total commitment to the same value systems. This must be translated into positive results for the peoples of our countries, the region and the continent.

Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Tshwane
0001

31 October 2005

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