Cabinet: Belgium one of SA's most important economic partners

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Cabinet has commended the confidence displayed in South Africa through the historic State Visit of His Majesty King Philippe and Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of The Kingdom of Belgium, at the invitation of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Briefing the media following the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said strong bilateral relations with a focus on trade, foreign direct investment, and tourism underscored the inaugural State Visit.

Ntshavheni said the South Africa-Belgium Business Forum also provided a platform for exchanges and sectoral conversations to improve trade and investment relationships, which holds the potential to promote South African industrialisation.

She highlighted that Belgium is one of South Africa’s most important economic and export partners.

“In 2020 South Africa exported 2.38 billion dollars to Belgium in sectors such as diamonds, delivery trucks, organic chemicals and precious metal scraps. There are also significant investment opportunities between our two countries in energy, infrastructure, and healthcare,” Ntshavheni said.

His Majesty King Philippe and Her Majesty Queen Mathilde visited South Africa from 22 – 27 March 2023.

Government commits to sexual and reproductive health rights

Meanwhile, the Minister said Cabinet has reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that all people have the power and resources to make healthy decisions about their bodies, sexuality, and reproduction.

This follows the National Sexual and Reproductive Justice Conference, which placed access to sexual and reproductive health rights in the spotlight.

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, who led the conference earlier in March, officially launched the second report of the High-Level Commission (HLC) on the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 Follow-up titled “Sexual and reproductive justice as the vehicle to deliver the Nairobi Summit commitments”.

“This provides guidance on achieving sexual and reproductive justice for all in South Africa,” the Minister said.

Discussions on Constitution welcomed

Cabinet welcomed the discussions on the Constitution held during a National Conference on the Constitution.

The three-day conference which started from 22 - 24 March 2023, was held under the theme “Reflections on the Constitution: Rule of law, accountability, social and economic justice”.

“The deliberations reflected on the past 25 years of the Constitution, and chartered what needs to be done. The Constitution remains a living and imperative document in government’s pursuit of transforming the lives of all South Africans for the better,” Ntshavheni said. –