SA's future linked to future of Africa

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pretoria - International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says South Africa’s future is inextricably linked to the future of the continent.

The Minister on Friday delivered a lecture as part of Nelson Mandela Day at the North West University in Potchefstroom, under the theme: “Reflections on the Value of Patriotism in Diplomacy”.

She said the overarching principle of South Africa’s foreign policy remains predicated on the pursuit of a peaceful, stable and prosperous continent.

Since the dawn of democracy, government has deployed South Africa’s scarce resources in pursuit of a policy of good neighbourliness.

This, the Minister said, was a clear break from the apartheid foreign policy of regional destabilisation.

“We have also utilised the South African experience of peaceful transition to assist fellow African countries to resolve their conflicts through negotiation.

“In this context, our definition of patriotism goes beyond the love of South Africa and takes into cognisance the aspirations and the needs of Africans. Similarly, our national interests are also defined in consideration of the aspirations of the general African populace.”

She said the late, former President Nelson Mandela taught all to dispel revenge and hatred in order to work towards a shared prosperity.

In this vein, South Africa continues to prioritise its relations with countries of the North to close the gap between the rich and poor countries as well as reversing the marginalisation of the global South in the international system.

The National Development Plan Vision 2030 and its trajectory require South Africans to build a resilient economy which will enable them to address the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

“We have throughout the epochs of our democratic history utilised foreign policy to contribute towards Madiba’s vision of creating a better life for all.

“It is against this background that we have continued to revise and realign our economic diplomacy strategies in order to leverage trade and investment opportunities for the betterment of the lives of our people.

“Our missions abroad are at the forefront of promoting trade and investment with particular focus on areas that support Operation Phakisa programmes and the government’s Nine-Point Plan,” said the Minister. -

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