SA boosts Africa's profile as development partner

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cape Town - South Africa is looking to fellow African states and high-growth developing nations to join the country in trade partnerships that would promote its global standing and economic growth.

"As a country and a people, we stand ready to make our contribution both in our interest and in the interest of all of Africa's people," said Lindiwe Sisulu, the chair of International Cooperation, Trade and Security cluster during a parliamentary media briefing on the delivery agreement for Outcome 11.

It is part of government's 12 performance outcomes to help improve development and services in South Africa.

The delivery agreement was signed earlier this month and focuses on the need to enhance trade and investment, regional integration, promote the African agenda and sustainable development and reform of global governance institutions such as the UN, World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Sisulu, who is also the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, said South Africa's success would be tied to that of the African continent's performance.

International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane went further afield, adding that the BRIC - Brazil, Russia, India and China - nations are some of the countries with which South Africa would like to do more business.

"We endeavour to have measurable successes and activities so that we can stand counted in global development," said Nkoana-Mashabane.

She pointed to the visit by China's Vice-President Xi Jinping, who is in Cape Town today meeting with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, as well as President Jacob Zuma's visit to the Asian giant in August, where the two countries signed a co-operation agreement.

She said a delegation from South Africa would also hold a strategic partnership meeting with the US in the second week of December.

Turning focus back to Africa, Sisulu said she was confident that South Africa's role as a mediator in Zimbabwe was paying off.

"President Zuma is in touch with the coalition government in Zimbabwe and constantly on top of the situation. I believe we are doing everything we can to support the people of Zimbabwe and that we have moved them in the right direction," she said.

Nkoana-Mashabane noted that this year, Zimbabweans themselves agreed to set up media, electoral and humans rights commissions.

"What we are hearing is that the economy is turning for the better and that they are grappling with the remaining challenges ... of drafting the constitution," she said, adding that it was ultimately up to the ordinary people of Zimbabwe to decide their future.

She said the Southern African Development Community troika on security and diplomacy would be meeting over the weekend to get an update report on Zimbabwe.

The signatories to the delivery agreement for Outcome 11 are: the Departments of International Relations, Defence and Military Veterans, Trade and Industry, Science and Technology, Tourism, Environmental Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Development, National Treasury, the police, Government Communication and Information System, South African Revenue Service, Statistics SA and the International Marketing Council.