Zuma in Zambia for SADC Troika Summit

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma is expected to attend the SADC Troika Summit in Livingstone, Zambia, today, where the concept of a uni-visa and the Protocol on free movement of persons within SADC will be discussed, among other issues.

The uni-visa will see the synchronizing of the travel agreements within SADC, while the Protocol, which South Africa has already ratified, seeks to encourage and improve interaction between people and support intra- business.

According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, reports on the political and security challenges in Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Kingdom of Swaziland are also expected to be considered.

This summit takes place within the context of consolidating the African Agenda, deepening the regional integration efforts and strengthening the regional governance structures of the SADC. 

South Africa participates in the SADC Troika following the 2010 SADC Summit which elected Rupiah Bwezani Banda, President of the Republic of Zambia, as Chairperson of the Organ for Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (Organ); Zuma as the incoming Chairperson of the Organ and Armando Emilio Guebuza, President of Mozambique, as the outgoing Chairperson of the Organ. 

South Africa will assume the Chair of the Organ in August 2011-2012. Its role as a member of the Troika will include to collectively lead SADC in implementing its Peace and Security agenda and to give policy direction in between the Summits. 

The Troika will consider ways to fast-track and monitor the implementation of the SADC Summit decisions. It will also re-state the importance of the long-held democratic tradition and culture of ensuring that decisions within SADC and by extension the AU, should be reached through consensus. 

The Troika will deal with the operationalization of the SADC Electoral Advisory Council, where a culture of holding regular elections within SADC member States will be encouraged. It will also engage on measures taken to promote peace and security within SADC, through mediation and conflict prevention.

President Zuma is accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and senior government officials. 
Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor has been appointed as Acting President until 1 April 2011, when the President and Deputy President return to South Africa.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is on a four-day working visit to the United States.