Speeches & Remarks

Speeches & Remarks

AMBASSADOR MJ GAORETELELWE ’S BRIEF REMARKS - FREEDOM DAY, 27 APRIL 2017

Excellency, the Secretary of State of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Mrs Fernanda Rollo

The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, HE Apostolic Nunciature Passigato  

Excellencies, Ambassadors accredited to Portugal

The Secretary-General of the Portuguese Communist Party, Mr J de Sousa

Deputy Director General Antunes from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs overseeing African Affairs

Other Distinguished Guests

Fellow South Africans specifically also our

SA Honorary Consul in Porto, Mr. António Schneider

SA Honorary Consul in Madeira, Mr. Peter Booth

Ladies & Gentlemen

Welcome to South Africa’s Freedom Day, also called our National Day. This day 23 years ago was a turning point in our history when SA held its first democratic elections, which gave birth to our freedom and our constitutional democracy.

Today South Africans are honouring our fallen heroes and stalwarts in our struggle for liberation. We specifically honour Oliver Reginald Tambo, who would have celebrated his centenary this year. Thus 2017 has been declared the year of OR Tambo, a year of unity in action by all South Africans as we move South Africa forward together in honour of his selfless legacy. Comrade Tambo who was not only our longest serving ANC President, but a super-diplomat who shaped our current foreign policy and ensuring international solidarity is an integral part thereof.

Let me also briefly say we honour with you this week your own Freedom Day – the 43rd anniversary of the “Carnation Revolution” on the 25th April 1974. This was where your democracy was born through a bloodless coup, supported by the civilian population, bringing democracy and civil liberties to the Portuguese people after 48 years of dictatorship.

Keeping focused on this beautiful country, I will not forget the warm welcome I received from President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa during the handing over of my letters of credence in January this year and I must add, that warmth and hospitality have been replicated across the country in my visits and engagements at all levels. Thank you for that welcome.

The deep-seated historical ties between our two countries form the basis of our close pragmatic relationship.  It is thus not surprising that SA has the third largest Portuguese Diaspora well over half a million people playing a constructive role and certainly benefitting the economic diplomacy between our countries. The Embassy will continue to work tirelessly in building on and further strengthening the existing partnership with Portugal contributing to building a South Africa that is free from poverty, inequality and unemployment.

I thank you and enjoy the evening with us – especially the cuisine with some bites from South Africa and the best wines and juices all the way from SA.

We also have a surprise performer for you all the way from Montijo… as aprt of promotion of cultural exchanges, a young Portuguese singer, Luis Sequeira!

 Enjoy the evening

Address by President Jacob Zuma during the Launch of the Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone, Harrismith, in the Free State province

25th April 2017

 

Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies,

Premier of the Free State Province, Mr Ace Magashule,

MEC for Economic and Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Dr. Benny Malakoane and all MECs present,

Executive Mayors and councillors,

Chairperson of the Special Economic Zones Advisory Board, Dr Julian Naidoo and members,

Business Executives

 

Dumelang, sanibonani, molweni,

I am delighted to join you as we launch the Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone here in Tshiame within the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality.

This is a special development which forms part of our conscious efforts of creating economic development and growth opportunities closer to where our people live.

This we do through promoting industrialization and also the development of township and rural economies. Government and the governing party are fully committed to pursuing and implementing a programme of radical economic transformation. One of the critical components of this radical economic transformation is the notion of a balanced regional economic and industrial development. For a very long time, South Africa’s economy has and continues to rely on the regional industrial hubs of Gauteng, eThekwini-Pietermaritzburg and the Cape Peninsula. These regions collectively account for about 70% of the nation’s Gross Value Add. Many other regions were completely neglected with the result that their development potential was severely constrained. Many of these regions now lack the critical ingredients for long term economic and industrial success, such as industrial infrastructure, world class higher education and technical institutions, research and development, roads and rail links, and others.

While the Special Economic Zones Programme may not immediately bring all these ingredients to these regions, it is an important catalytic programme that allows us to take the first steps. The Special Economic Zones and Industrial Parks programme is critical to our efforts of radically transforming our economy. Through the Special Economic Zones Programme, South Africa also continues to play an important role in the attraction of foreign and domestic direct investment into the economy. To date, eight Special Economic Zones, including the old Industrial Development Zones, have been designated across the country. These are Coega and East London IDZs in the Eastern Cape, Dube TradePort and Richards Bay IDZs in KwaZulu-Natal, OR Tambo IDZ in Gauteng, Saldanha Bay IDZ in the Western Cape, Maluti-a-Phofung IDZ in the Free State, and Musina-Makhado SEZ in Limpopo.

We are thus very happy to be launching this critical project just two months after announcing it in the State of the Nation Address reply. The launch of this Special Economic Zone is significant in many ways.  Firstly, it is for the very first time that government develops a Special Economic Zone in an area that was once part of the apartheid era Bantustan Industrial Parks.

These Industrial Parks were introduced not so much because of economic potential but merely to sustain the apartheid system of separate development. They wanted to keep black people far away from the city centres which had to be kept for white people, with black people coming to supply labour only. Government has intervened here because we are convinced of the long-term economic potential of this region. Secondly, this launch and the development of the Maluti-a-Phofung SEZ demonstrates our promotion of industrial development which is key to the nation’s long-term economic success and prosperity. We want to change the way our economy is structured currently. Our current reliance on exporting minerals and other raw materials   to other countries is a sure recipe for an economy that enriches the few at the expense of the majority.  This, of course, will just deepen the already high levels of inequality in our society.

The Special Economic Zones Programme is therefore very important to our economic development goals. Already, through the SEZ Programme, government has attracted over nine billion rand worth of investments in all designated zones across the country. We will work harder to ensure that key growth points and regions become centres of industrial competence. The radical economic transformation programme also requires increasing the participation of Black Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in key value chains and industrial sectors of our economy. The majority cannot continue to rely on the skills and know-how of the minority, even though these are very important and needed in the economy. The majority cannot just limit their dreams and aspirations to being workers. The shackles of economic subjugation have long been broken.

The majority must increasingly produce innovators, investors, entrepreneurs, industrialists, and many other forms of economic value addition. This is not to say the contribution of the minority is not valuable, but rather that the economic cake can only be bigger and better if our globally competitive industrial economy is built on the full potential of all the country’s citizens and regions.

The launch of the Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone should also remind us of the importance of strong partnerships between the public and private sectors. Government understands and appreciates the role of the private sector as an investor, innovator, trader, creator of jobs, and so on, and understands what the private sector requires to prosper and compete globally. Government is also willing to play its part as a reliable, supportive and responsive partner.

It is for this reason that government introduced the Special Economic Zones Programme, launched the One Stop Shop through Invest South Africa, works to improve energy security, revitalises the Old Industrial Parks, and continues to implement many other critical initiatives. We are committed to making it easier and easier to do business in South Africa. Through the applicable 15% corporate tax rate, government will reduce your tax burdens. Through the Customs Control Area facility, the South African Receiver of Revenues will make it easier and a little cheaper for you to trade. Through the provision of bulk and top infrastructure, the Department of Trade and Industry will build world class facilities for you to do business. Through the One Stop Shop, you will access various government services in one place. To local and international investors; we declare to you today that this facility called the Maluti-a-Phofung SEZ is open for business.

We encourage you to partner with and integrate the local small businesses into your key value and supply chains. I am quite certain that this makes good business sense. In this regard, we need to appreciate the initiative of Distell to develop an agro-processing cluster in this region. This cluster will include emerging farmers who will be assisted to produce quality apples to be used as inputs for beverages produced by Distell. Various government departments will work with Distell and its partners to ensure that this initiative is a success.

Ladies and gentlemen

This is not just a launch of the Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone, but also a rekindling of dreams. It is the rekindling of dreams of many unemployed people who are looking for job opportunities so they can provide for their families, and that they do not need to commute in the darkness of night and for many hours to go to and from work. Dreams of young people who wish they do not have to move to Gauteng and other regions for quality school and university education.

But that these services will be available in their own region. These are dreams of local entrepreneurs and industrialists looking for the right industrial infrastructure, looking for the right facilities and space so they can produce much-needed goods and services. Dreams that they can produce and supply global markets right from the land of their birth, at globally competitive prices. Dreams of regional leaders who are looking forward to the transformation of their region from unproductive villages to world class settlements and towns and cities. To all who have such dreams, this government hears you and is here for you. This government will partner with you until you reach your full potential. Through the Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone, various government agencies will provide or facilitate critical services.

To the local communities - these are your facilities. Look after them and protect them from destruction and improve them. Future generations do not have to start from scratch, but must find that this generation has invested in their dreams. We wish to congratulate the Premier and the government of the Free State Province for initiating the Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone. We also thank Minister Davies, Department of Trade and Industry and the Special Economic Zones Advisory Board for working hard to make this  development possible.

We thank the business community for working with government to and with continued cooperation, this project will be a major success. We encourage all of you to continue to work together so that the full potential of the project can be fully realised.

It is my pleasure to declare Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone project officially opened!

I Thank you

Issued by The Presidency

Pretoria

www.thepresidency.gov.za

Address by President Jacob Zuma during the Launch of the Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone, Harrismith, in the Free State province

25th April 2017

 

Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies,

Premier of the Free State Province, Mr Ace Magashule,

MEC for Economic and Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Dr. Benny Malakoane and all MECs present,

Executive Mayors and councillors,

Chairperson of the Special Economic Zones Advisory Board, Dr Julian Naidoo and members,

Business Executives

 

Dumelang, sanibonani, molweni,

I am delighted to join you as we launch the Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone here in Tshiame within the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality.

This is a special development which forms part of our conscious efforts of creating economic development and growth opportunities closer to where our people live.

This we do through promoting industrialization and also the development of township and rural economies. Government and the governing party are fully committed to pursuing and implementing a programme of radical economic transformation. One of the critical components of this radical economic transformation is the notion of a balanced regional economic and industrial development. For a very long time, South Africa’s economy has and continues to rely on the regional industrial hubs of Gauteng, eThekwini-Pietermaritzburg and the Cape Peninsula. These regions collectively account for about 70% of the nation’s Gross Value Add. Many other regions were completely neglected with the result that their development potential was severely constrained. Many of these regions now lack the critical ingredients for long term economic and industrial success, such as industrial infrastructure, world class higher education and technical institutions, research and development, roads and rail links, and others.

While the Special Economic Zones Programme may not immediately bring all these ingredients to these regions, it is an important catalytic programme that allows us to take the first steps. The Special Economic Zones and Industrial Parks programme is critical to our efforts of radically transforming our economy. Through the Special Economic Zones Programme, South Africa also continues to play an important role in the attraction of foreign and domestic direct investment into the economy. To date, eight Special Economic Zones, including the old Industrial Development Zones, have been designated across the country. These are Coega and East London IDZs in the Eastern Cape, Dube TradePort and Richards Bay IDZs in KwaZulu-Natal, OR Tambo IDZ in Gauteng, Saldanha Bay IDZ in the Western Cape, Maluti-a-Phofung IDZ in the Free State, and Musina-Makhado SEZ in Limpopo.

We are thus very happy to be launching this critical project just two months after announcing it in the State of the Nation Address reply. The launch of this Special Economic Zone is significant in many ways.  Firstly, it is for the very first time that government develops a Special Economic Zone in an area that was once part of the apartheid era Bantustan Industrial Parks.

These Industrial Parks were introduced not so much because of economic potential but merely to sustain the apartheid system of separate development. They wanted to keep black people far away from the city centres which had to be kept for white people, with black people coming to supply labour only. Government has intervened here because we are convinced of the long-term economic potential of this region. Secondly, this launch and the development of the Maluti-a-Phofung SEZ demonstrates our promotion of industrial development which is key to the nation’s long-term economic success and prosperity. We want to change the way our economy is structured currently. Our current reliance on exporting minerals and other raw materials   to other countries is a sure recipe for an economy that enriches the few at the expense of the majority.  This, of course, will just deepen the already high levels of inequality in our society.

The Special Economic Zones Programme is therefore very important to our economic development goals. Already, through the SEZ Programme, government has attracted over nine billion rand worth of investments in all designated zones across the country. We will work harder to ensure that key growth points and regions become centres of industrial competence. The radical economic transformation programme also requires increasing the participation of Black Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in key value chains and industrial sectors of our economy. The majority cannot continue to rely on the skills and know-how of the minority, even though these are very important and needed in the economy. The majority cannot just limit their dreams and aspirations to being workers. The shackles of economic subjugation have long been broken.

The majority must increasingly produce innovators, investors, entrepreneurs, industrialists, and many other forms of economic value addition. This is not to say the contribution of the minority is not valuable, but rather that the economic cake can only be bigger and better if our globally competitive industrial economy is built on the full potential of all the country’s citizens and regions.

The launch of the Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone should also remind us of the importance of strong partnerships between the public and private sectors. Government understands and appreciates the role of the private sector as an investor, innovator, trader, creator of jobs, and so on, and understands what the private sector requires to prosper and compete globally. Government is also willing to play its part as a reliable, supportive and responsive partner.

It is for this reason that government introduced the Special Economic Zones Programme, launched the One Stop Shop through Invest South Africa, works to improve energy security, revitalises the Old Industrial Parks, and continues to implement many other critical initiatives. We are committed to making it easier and easier to do business in South Africa. Through the applicable 15% corporate tax rate, government will reduce your tax burdens. Through the Customs Control Area facility, the South African Receiver of Revenues will make it easier and a little cheaper for you to trade. Through the provision of bulk and top infrastructure, the Department of Trade and Industry will build world class facilities for you to do business. Through the One Stop Shop, you will access various government services in one place. To local and international investors; we declare to you today that this facility called the Maluti-a-Phofung SEZ is open for business.

We encourage you to partner with and integrate the local small businesses into your key value and supply chains. I am quite certain that this makes good business sense. In this regard, we need to appreciate the initiative of Distell to develop an agro-processing cluster in this region. This cluster will include emerging farmers who will be assisted to produce quality apples to be used as inputs for beverages produced by Distell. Various government departments will work with Distell and its partners to ensure that this initiative is a success.

Ladies and gentlemen

This is not just a launch of the Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone, but also a rekindling of dreams. It is the rekindling of dreams of many unemployed people who are looking for job opportunities so they can provide for their families, and that they do not need to commute in the darkness of night and for many hours to go to and from work. Dreams of young people who wish they do not have to move to Gauteng and other regions for quality school and university education.

But that these services will be available in their own region. These are dreams of local entrepreneurs and industrialists looking for the right industrial infrastructure, looking for the right facilities and space so they can produce much-needed goods and services. Dreams that they can produce and supply global markets right from the land of their birth, at globally competitive prices. Dreams of regional leaders who are looking forward to the transformation of their region from unproductive villages to world class settlements and towns and cities. To all who have such dreams, this government hears you and is here for you. This government will partner with you until you reach your full potential. Through the Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone, various government agencies will provide or facilitate critical services.

To the local communities - these are your facilities. Look after them and protect them from destruction and improve them. Future generations do not have to start from scratch, but must find that this generation has invested in their dreams. We wish to congratulate the Premier and the government of the Free State Province for initiating the Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone. We also thank Minister Davies, Department of Trade and Industry and the Special Economic Zones Advisory Board for working hard to make this  development possible.

We thank the business community for working with government to and with continued cooperation, this project will be a major success. We encourage all of you to continue to work together so that the full potential of the project can be fully realised.

It is my pleasure to declare Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone project officially opened!

I Thank you

Issued by The Presidency

Pretoria

www.thepresidency.gov.za

Public lecture by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Luwellyn Landers, at Rhodes University, Eastern Cape

Vice Chancellor of the University
University Management and Staff
Student Representatives
Distinguished guests
Members of the Media
Ladies and gentlemen

 

Your attendance of this Public Lecture pleases me because it gives us an opportunity to have a detailed discussion on South Africa’s foreign policy endeavours. We have agreed with the University Management and the organisers to base our interaction on the theme “Fostering Democracy and Development through International Cooperation”.  The intention thereof is to have a focused discussion on the key elements contained in this theme and to broadly reflect on our international engagements in pursuit of democracy and development across the globe.
From the onset I must state that linkages between democracy and development with important aspects such as good governance, peace and stability cannot be avoided.  As for the International Cooperation element of our theme, we seek to demonstrate our foreign policy orientation, which is predicated on the principles of cooperation of international competition between international actors, particularly nation-states. 

Ladies and gentlemen
Cooperation for democracy and development can only be achieved within the spirit of mutual respect and friendship within an environment that promotes peaceful coexistence in the world. It should never be forced or imposed. Furthermore, as an African country, cooperation between ourselves, Africa and the world should be based on these values. Our pathfinders were not mistaken when 61 years ago, through the Freedom Charter, they made the call:
“The right of all the peoples of Africa to independence and self-government shall be recognised, and shall be the basis of close co-operation”.
This call was made at a time when we were a pariah state within the international system due to colonial rule and apartheid. At this juncture and at various points of our history visionary leaders understood the importance of international cooperation in the pursuit of a democratic and an inclusive developmental South Africa.
I will not take too much time reflecting on history. However I would like to emphasise that the Freedom Charter formed the basis of our Constitution. This year marks 20 years since the signing into law of our Constitution which states in its preamble that our people adopt this supreme law so as to, among others:
“Build a United and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nation”.  
Southern Africa
Since the dawn of democracy we have continued to rebuild the country while working towards the realisation of the aspirations of our fellow brothers and sisters in Africa, the global South and the impoverished masses in the world. Achieving our own unity and development as a constitutional democracy required us to contribute towards the stabilisation of the Southern African region. There is general consensus that colonialism and apartheid had destructive effects to the entire Southern region.
In this regard, we could not have succeeded in reconstructing our country without the reconstruction of the entire region in order to achieve sustainable development. This position was clearly articulated in the country’s Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) that sought to develop a balanced southern Africa regional economy in pursuit of shared prosperity.
Against this background, we remain committed to the advancement of the regional integration and development agenda. We seek to achieve this undertaking through the implementation of the Southern African Development Community strategies and mechanisms such as the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP). 

As you may be aware, the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) which covered the period 2005 to 2020 underwent review and the revised document was adopted by the SADC Summit in April, 2015. In appreciation of the changing global political and economic environment, we deemed it necessary to review progress and refine our regional development strategy for implementation from 2015 to 2020.
The African continent
As a matter of principle, the African Agenda remains a cornerstone of our foreign policy. As earlier mentioned we understand unequivocally that our own development is predicated on the development of our continent. It is for this reasons that we pursue an African Agenda which places significant importance on the entrenchment of democracy, peace and security, and acceleration of economic growth not just for South Africa but for the betterment of all Africans. In essence, this commitment encapsulates our Pan Africanist foreign policy configuration.
In implementing these ideals we continue to utilise our own experience of a peaceful democratic transition to collaborate with fellow Africans in the pursuit of peace and stability on the continent.
We have significantly contributed in peace-making efforts through our special envoys in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Ivory Coast, Madagascar and Lesotho.
Furthermore, our Post Conflict and Reconstruction Development Programmes underscore the primacy of our long term investment in the Continent for its continued peaceful and prosperous development. Additionally, our continued support of democratic process such as elections and assisting in the building of institutions   in the countries I earlier mentioned is yet another mechanism we use to imbed democratic principles on our continent.
We are also working closely with the African Union to implement its Agenda 2063 vision, which aims to change the developmental trajectory of the continent. Further, following the adoption of this vision, the first ten-year implementation plan has been developed and adopted. This plan is the vehicle which will aide in yielding the tangible benefits of Agenda 2063. For us it is important that we continue working towards strengthening the AU structures for effective implementation of its decisions as well as the aspirations of Agenda 2063.
However, it is equally imperative that the people of African descent across the globe continue to actively participate in the development of their motherland.


In this regard we believe that the African Diaspora can assist us in our endeavours aimed at promoting peace, stability, democracy and sustainable growth and development in Africa.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is central in the pursuit of the aspirations of Agenda 2063. Thus, this continental economic blue print serves as a frame of reference for our development cooperation. Through NEPAD, we are able to cooperate with the outside world.  
We therefore enter into strategic cooperative partnerships to implement the NEPAD priority projects.  These bankable projects are anchored and implemented by Regional Economic Communities which are building blocks towards Africa’s integration.
Implementation of the global agenda
With regard to multilateral relations, since our re-admission to the United Nations our efforts have been focused on the interests and aspirations of the African Continent and the Global South.

Our two stints in the UN Security Council are also testament to this fact. We worked tirelessly in strengthening the relationship between the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council to work towards respect of the regional organization’s intervention on issues affecting their regions.
This has yielded significant gains. For example, you now have a hybrid mission such as UNAMID, as well as greater cooperation between the two Councils. Further, we piloted resolutions which will further strengthen this cooperation.
As some of you are students of political studies students or enthusiasts, you will know that the programme of work of the UN Security Council is predominantly based on African issues. However, the configuration of the UN Security Council is such that Africans have a limited say in the management of their affairs.
We believe that an effective and collective global system of governance remains a critical tool in addressing the challenges faced by humanity across the globe. Thus we remain steadfast in our belief that it has to represent the geographical realities of the world. In its current formation, the global system of governance continues to marginalise developing countries. This is exacerbated by unilateral actions by global powers in pursuit of narrow national interests which continue to weaken the UN.
Consequently, we will continue our efforts in pushing for a reformed global governance system based on collective decision making and implementation.
It is worrisome that the gains registered in synergising the work of the AU Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council (UNSC) to prevent and manage conflicts in Africa are being reversed.
We therefore believe that this is contrary to the spirit and provisions of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter on the relationship between the UN and regional organisations.
Last year was an important year, as the world adopted the UN sustainable development goals in September 2015. It’s particularly important for South Africa, as we were the chair of the Group of 77 and China, the largest negotiating block in the UN. It afforded us an opportunity to lead and forge consensus amongst the countries of the global south at a critical juncture, which led to a great deal of concerns of the South being incorporated in the new agenda. The unity of the Group was key in delivering these fundamental goals.
However, this is the critical phase where our efforts and resources shall be directed to the implementation of programmes that thrust us towards realisation of these goals. Suffice to underscore that these goals are synced with our own National Development Plan (NDP).

South- South solidarity and cooperation
Our membership of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) to influence political decision making in other broader multilateral fora such as the UN remains important. In fact our principals are going to Venezuela this weekend from 17-18 September for the NAM Summit.
It is an important meeting which will adopt the NAM positions and will also hand over chairmanship from Iran to Venezuela.
In the same vein, our participation in the Group of 77+China which is aimed at advancing the collective developmental aspirations of developing countries is also entering another critical phase as we are now working on implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This will prove difficult as you know.
We are all at different levels of development and our priorities tend to differ, and finding consensus is not always easy. We continue to utilise the Africa group as a negotiating block to further propel the needs of the continent.
We are satisfied with the benefits that South Africa derives from its membership of other formations comprising countries of the global South such as IBSA and BRICS.
Our participation in these forums is undoubtedly beneficial to the continent as well. Thus at continental level, we will continue to collectively advance Africa’s interests through participation in the AU Strategic Partnerships, such as the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and the New Africa Asia Strategic Partnership (NAASP), amongst others.
Mutual beneficial relations with countries of the North
Our cooperative relations with the developed countries of the north is based on our shared commitment to build mutual beneficial partnerships with a view to address the needs and aspirations of African people, the people of the global South and the marginalised. We therefore cooperate at both bilateral and multilateral engagements. It is our continued endeavour to leverage the opportunities presented by these relations in an effort to close the widening gap between the prosperous North and the deprived developing South.
To complement our bilateral cooperation with countries of the North, we will continue to prioritise consolidating the Strategic partnership with the European Union (EU). This strategic partnership is an important platform through which we promote Africa’s socio-economic development agenda within the framework of NEPAD. 
 
Conclusion
In conclusion, let me emphasise that we are guided by our National Development Plan (NDP) vision 2030 that calls for the building of a resilient economy and enjoins us to address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. In essence, our foreign policy is informed and guided by our domestic imperatives.

We are confident that our resolve to deepen existing bilateral economic relations and to explore more trade and investment opportunities will contribute towards increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). This is particularly important at a time when the general economic climate is very constricted. Further, global reconfigurations such as Brexit, require more recalibrations from our front in order to meet our developmental aspirations and grow the economy.

I thank you!!

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
Pretoria
0084