Aid shipment destined for Haiti

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cape Town - A shipment of aid is expected to leave South Africa on Freedom Day, April 27, for Haiti in solidarity with the world's first black republic, the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu, announced today.

Sisulu was briefing the media on the work of government's ICTS - International Co-operation, Trade and Security - cluster which she chairs.

She said South Africa had been providing assistance to the Haitian government since it was ravaged by an earthquake on January 12.

The South African government had also since established a ministerial task team chaired by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Sue van der Merwe.

South Africa, represented by presidential advisor Charles Nqakula, is also involved in the African Union's (AU) mediation team on Madagascar, led by former Mozambican President Joachim Chissano.

The mediation team recently urged the parties to implement the power-sharing agreement by Tuesday.

Sisulu said members of the SA National Defence Force's special force were providing protection services to the president of the Central African Republic.

Defence force members are also helping to build three new military bases in the central African country and providing military equipment in a bid to assist in stabilising the country.

Sisulu said South African troops were also participating in Monuc, the UN's peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The African Renaissance Fund is also funding several development projects in the DRC to help rebuild the once war-torn country.

These projects include assistance rebuilding institutional and organisational capacity of decentralised structures, assistance in setting up a teacher training institution and the training of immigration officers and the development of a population register by the Department of Home Affairs and the supply of water pumps by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.

The Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said the high-level AU panel on Darfur, led by former president Thabo Mbeki, had succeeded in getting all those participating in next month's elections in Sudan to sign an electoral accord.

Nkoana-Mashabane said the recent state visit to the UK, from March 3 to 5 had proved "very successful".

While Prime Minister Gordon Brown has indicated "strong support" for the government's five priorities, she said the UK's three main political parties had added that they would support South Africa's inclusion into the UN Security Council in 2011 and 2012.

Nkoana-Mashabane said delegates also had a "very exciting" meeting with NGOs in the UK, most of them led by former anti-apartheid leaders.