International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) Minister Naledi Pandor has on behalf of the South African government sent condolences to the people of Tanzania after a fuel tanker explosion tragically killed over 60 people.
“We received the sad news of a fuel tanker explosion that tragically killed over 60 people in Tanzania. I wish to express on behalf of the South African Government our heartfelt condolences to the people and Government of Tanzania,” said the Minister on Sunday.
According to media reports the fuel tanker overturned and exploded in the east of the country on Saturday.
Minister Pandor conveyed the country’s condolences at her department’s monthly media briefing on international matters.
The tragic explosion took place as President Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to head to Tanzania for his first state visit after South Africa’s national elections.
President Ramaphosa will undertake the state visit to Tanzania from 14-15 August 2019, at the invitation of his Tanzanian counterpart, President John Pombe Magufuli.
The state visit by the President aims to deepen existing economic, political, cultural and social relations between the two countries.
In 2011, an agreement establishing the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between South Africa and Tanzania was signed.
The inaugural session of the BNC took place in Tanzania in 2017, and South Africa is expected to convene the next BNC, at an agreed mutual date.
In 2018, South African exports amounted to R5.8 billion, whereas imports from Tanzania amounted to R479 million.
South African exports to Tanzania are predominantly in the areas of manufacturing, machinery, mechanical appliances, paper, rubber products, vehicles, iron, and steel, including services and technology.
On the other hand, imports from Tanzania are mainly gold, coffee, cashew nuts, and cotton. There are over 170 South African companies operating in Tanzania, across all sectors of the economy.
“The state visit will allow both leaders to discuss bilateral, continental and global issues, and to reaffirm their commitment to further cooperate closely on multilateral issues,” said the Minister.
The President will be accompanied by Minister Pandor; the Ministers of Defence and Military Veterans, Trade and Industry, Mineral Resources and Energy and State Security.
A business forum is also being arranged by Ministries of Trade and Industry of both countries and participants will be addressed by both Presidents.
39th Ordinary Summit of SADC
Following the state visit, President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead a South African Delegation to the 39th Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government.
The Summit is also set to take place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 17 to 18 August 2019.
The Summit will take place under the theme "A Conducive Business Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development".
The theme is in line with previous SADC Summit decisions that endorsed industrialisation as the overarching priority for the region based on the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015–2063).
In 2015, the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Governments adopted a SADC industrialisation strategy and roadmap plus its action plan (March 2017), which prioritises the activation of regional value-chains and the strengthening of key enabling institutions to support industrial development in the region as a potentially powerful mechanism to promote development.
The focus is now on the creation of the necessary conditions in member states and across the region that will attract the private sector to invest in productive activities at a domestic, regional and international level.
“These ‘necessary conditions’ are centre-stage of the industrialisation strategies at a member state and regional level.
“They include, amongst others, a focus on enabling infrastructure and resolving border issues; the development of appropriate industrial skills; the enhancement of R&D capabilities; the deepening of value-chains around prioritised minerals and the development of SMME's,” said the Minister. – SAnews.gov.za