Statement by President Jacob Zuma at media briefing following SA-DRC Binational Commission

Friday, October 30, 2009

Statement by President Jacob Zuma at media briefing following SA-DRC Binational Commission

President Guest House
30 October 2009

Your Excellency, President Kabila,
Delegates from the DRC and South Africa,
Members of the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This Bi-National Commission Summit is being held five years after we established this historic partnership between our two countries.

It was formed at a time when the DRC was emerging from a devastating war, and South Africa was just completing its first decade as a democracy.

The DRC was having to repair the effects of decades of despotic rule, underdevelopment and social neglect.

The two countries entered into this bilateral agreement so that our countries may assist each other to improve the lives of our people.

Over this period we have worked on a number of programmes of cooperation.

These have been most significant in support of the DRC's 2006 elections, promoting security and stability, and building the capacity of the democratic state.

This Summit today follows two days of meetings between our Ministers and senior officials.

They have had an opportunity to review in detail the implementation of our joint programmes.

This review indicates that there is much we have achieved, and that our efforts have contributed to stability, peace and progress in the DRC.

There is much more we can still do.

We are committed, as South Africa, to continue to work with our Congolese counterparts towards these goals.
We emerge from this Summit in agreement that our efforts need greater focus and application.

We will continue our bilateral cooperation, concentrating on those areas where there is potential for greatest progress.

We will also continue with the work that needs to be done to strengthen economic ties between our countries.

We recognise that the growth and development of our countries can only benefit from greater trade and investment.

We are therefore resolved to look at how to better foster such links, within the context of greater economic integration in the region.

Your Excellency, President Kabila,

We congratulate you on your assumption of the chair of SADC.

Please be assured of the support of the South African government as lead the process of building peace, stability and development in Southern Africa.

Please also be assured of our continued support in your efforts to cement peace and stability, strengthen the democratic state, and ensure social and economic development.

We are convinced that by working together as we have done over the last five years we can only improve the lives of the peoples of both our countries.

I thank you for coming to South Africa, and wish you and your delegation a safe journey home.

I thank you.