SA to advance development, continental industrialisation

Thursday, August 17, 2017

South Africa says it will use its position as the incoming chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to advance development and continental industrialisation.

“South Africa will use its position to strategically advance the country’s national interests as outlined in the National Development Plan, drive regional and continental industrialisation and integration to boost the implementation of Africa Agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU),” Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said on Thursday.

The Minister was briefing the media on the outcomes of the regular Cabinet meeting in Tshwane.

South Africa, which is taking over the chair of SADC from Swaziland, will over the next year be responsible for several programmes of the regional body, which is celebrating 25 years of existence.

The SADC chairmanship, on a one-year-term basis, rotates among the bloc's member states.

As the incoming chair, South Africa is hosting the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government until Sunday under the theme ‘Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains’.

The theme speaks to the three potential growth paths, namely agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and downstream processing value chains.

Minister Dlodlo said Tshwane’s position is informed by the continental Agenda 2063, which is the strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. 

“It builds on and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.”

The summit will also pay tribute to the outgoing President Dos Santos of Angola, who will be stepping down after 37 years as president and leading his country out of a protracted civil war.

Minister Dlodlo said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as the SADC Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho, will also table a report to the SADC Double Troika Summit taking place on Friday.  

The new Lesotho government is also expected to table a reforms roadmap.

This follows consultations between the Deputy President with the new government, leaders of opposition parties, the college of chiefs and civil society stakeholders in the Kingdom, charting the path for the full implementation of SADC decisions on constitutional and security sector reforms.

Cabinet also congratulated the people of Rwanda on the holding of a peaceful election, which saw the re-election of President Paul Kagame.  They also congratulated congratulating Kenya for conducting successful elections.

“The conclusion of yet another successful poll in Africa is a clear indication that democratic advances continue across the continent,” said Minister Dlodlo. -