Speech for Minister N.C Dlamini Zuma at the Official Opening of the South African Consulate General in Shanghai and the Freedom Day Celebrations:  April 25, 2008, Shanghai, PRC

Honourable Minister of Trade and Industry Republic of South Africa, Mr. Mandisi Mpahlwa

Honourable Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Republic of South Africa, Mr Aziz Pahad

Mr. Tu Guangshao, Vice Mayor of Shanghai Municipal People’s Government;

Mr. Li Ming Jun, Director-General of the Foreign Affairs Office of Shanghai Municipal People’s Government;

Mr. Hu Jianhui, Executive Member of the Legal Affairs Committee, Shanghai People’s Congress;

Mr. Tang Guihe, Deputy Director-General of Committee of Education, Science, Culture, Health and Sports, CPPCC Shanghai Committee

Mr. Huang Xiqiang, Deputy Director-General of the Foreign Affairs Department, Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government

Members of the Consular Corps

Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China Mr Ndumiso Ntshinga

Consular-General to Shanghai Mr Vika Khumalo

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a very great pleasure to address you on this occasion of our official opening of the South African Consulate General in Shanghai, the celebration of our Freedom Day in the context of the 10th Anniversary Celebration of our diplomatic relations.

The South African Consulate General began its work in Shanghai in October 19, 2003.  We decided on Shanghai on the mainland, simply because of the economic development role this city plays in China.  Shanghai, like the rest of China, has enjoyed a sustainable period of growth and presents enormous business opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Today, I am happy to re-affirm our commitment to the Shanghai 2010 World Expo.  During the Expo, we will continue to showcase South Africa as a nation “alive with possibilities” – a nation that provides China and the world with significant opportunities for trade, investment and tourism.  We are happy with the assistance that China is providing.

On this National Day we remember all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  We pay tribute to all our struggle veterans and all those who showed unprecedented solidarity with us including the People’s Republic of China, they did all this not because they loved life less but because they loved their country and their people more.  We shall continue to build a people-centred society, non-racial and non-sexist.

The People’s Republic of China will remain a reliable and strategic partner.  Together we shall march towards creating a better life for all our peoples.

We have had made great strides over the past fourteen years.  Today, the economy is the strongest that it has ever been in our history.  We are a modern, diverse, stable, and innovative country with a rich culture, a magnificent natural heritage and a warm people.  We have an advanced infrastructure and a well-developed financial, economic and legal system.  Many of our companies are globally competitive and in some instances are world leaders in their field, for example in the mining sector and in coal to fuel technology.  Such companies can be seen operating in China today.  South Africa offers an attractive investment environment and we are a growing and dependable trade partner.  Our numerous and diverse tourism sites are world-renowned and we continue to be amongst the leaders in tourism growth figures.

We shall continue to build a peaceful, prosperous South Africa and a united Continent and contribute to a just and equitable world.

Having said this, we still have a long struggle ahead to overcome the legacies of apartheid and colonialism.  We still face enormous challenges in terms of overcoming poverty, creating jobs for our people, providing universal health care and education, addressing social problems, promoting the advancement of women, ensuring sustainable development and growth, further building infrastructure, developing agriculture, and protecting the environment.  These are challenges that we are committed to overcoming and we will spare no effort in achieving this.   Whilst China is still faced with similar challenges we have a lot to learn from each other.  China has achieved food security and sustainable levels of growth.

This year China welcomes the world to Beijing for the Olympic Games.  We wish China well and we look forward to being part of this magnificent event.  We also look forward to welcoming the world to South Africa for the FIFA World Cup in 2010, the first Football World Cup to be held in Africa.  We hope that China will qualify to join our team in this global celebration!!  The World Cup is providing further opportunities for us to address some of the challenges that I have mentioned.

Let us celebrate our achievements.  Rededicate ourselves to meeting the challenges ahead.

Let us also today celebrate the warm, friendly and mutually beneficial relationship that we have as South Africa and China – a relationship that is based on mutual respect and trust.

The Shanghai Consulate is officially opened.
I thank you.
Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

25 April 2008


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