Media Statement by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane following DIRCO’s Budget Vote Speech, 31 May 2011

Mr Programme Director,
Colleagues from DIRCO,
Ladies and gentlemen from the fourth estate here in Cape Town and those at the Union Buildings in Pretoria,
Good morning once more.

Thanks for joining us earlier when I was presenting my budget to parliament. And thanks once again for joining us in this media briefing.

I guess you will agree with me that I do not need to repeat my Department’s 2011/2012 Budget Vote Speech as all of you were in parliament where I presented it and you do have copies of the speech with you. This briefing is intended to provide you with an opportunity to ask us questions where you need further clarification.

Just in a nutshell, we highlighted some of the country’s foreign policy successes over the last two years since this administration came into office. And these included our election by acclamation to the world’s pre-eminent peace and security organ, the United Nation’s Security Council (UNSC); our admission to the most-powerful bloc of emerging markets, Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC); our leadership of the infrastructure development initiative within the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD); and our assumption of the chairpersonship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.

In the same vein, we are also looking forward to hosting this month the SADC-East African Economic Community (EAC)-Common Economic Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA); our hosting of the COP17/CMP7 Summit in Durban later this year; and finally, our hosting of the IBSA Summit later this year.

On looking ahead, our speech earlier focused on, inter alia, the implementation of the department’s foreign policy objectives as its core mandate. Further focus was devoted to articulating DIRCO’s anticipated job creation strategies and mechanisms – thus responding to the Presidential call for “job creation”.

Beyond job creation, the Budget Vote Speech entailed the approach DIRCO sought to adopt in responding to the advancement of Government’s other four key priority areas.
We now open the floor for questions.

I thank you.

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa