International Cooperation, Trade and Security Cluster (ICTS) media briefing by the Minister of Defence, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu
26 Feb 2012
In 2010, the ICTS Cluster signed the Delivery Agreement with the President to ensure implementation of Outcome 11 – “Creating a better South Africa and contributing to a better and safer Africa in a better world” and all its outputs. The implementation of this outcome will ensure that the lives of all South Africans are improved through enhanced trade and investment, regional economic integration, improved technical and scientific cooperation to enhance technology transfer and development in support of job creation, and at all times ensuring peace and stability.
Today, we can confidently say that the Cluster was able to meet its set targets. The following are notable achievements and progress in meeting our outcome:
Consolidation of the African Agenda
The conversion of the AU Commission into the AU Authority, integration of NEPAD into the structures of the AU resulting in the establishment of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency as a technical body of the AU.
The creation of the Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) as a permanent sub-committee of the AU Assembly mandated to provide political leadership and strategic guidance on the NEPAD Programme.
Regarding the implementation of NEPAD priorities, the HSGOC of which South Africa is part, created the NEPAD HSGOC High Level Sub-Committee on Infrastructure, chaired by President Zuma, in order to promote priority infrastructure projects contained in the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa.
A major achievement has been the election of South Africa into the AU Peace and Security Council for a two-year term, and the AU endorsement of South Africa’s candidature for the non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council for the period 2011 – 2012.
South Africa utilised its election as a non-permanent member to the UN Security Council (UNSC) to continue promoting better and deeper coordination and cooperation between the UNSC and the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC).
We led an AU Technical Experts Mission to the Sudan as mandated by the AU Executive Council in January 2011 to look at the possible programs and needs of the Sudanese people in respect to PCRD.
The SANDF also participated in Op SENOKO with the distribution of 1 849 x tons of ballot material to the DRC for the elections that took place on 28 Dec 11. The SANDF assisted the IEC in the DRC in transporting the ballot papers to the DRC and other internal IEC stations.
Noticeable progress has been made in relation to consolidating the SADC Free Trade Agreement (FTA), especially with respect to ensuring that 90-100% of tariffs are at zero percent. 92% of product lines are currently traded at zero percent, against a baseline of 85% in 2009.
In SACU principles for trade negotiations were negotiated and approved by the Summit in 2011. There was steady movement in the work on industrialisation in SACU. This is a member-driven process that depends on the commitment and response of individual member states.
Reform of Global Governance Institutions
There have been significant achievements regarding the reform of the World Bank. Firstly, an additional Executive Director position has been created to represent three countries, i.e. South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. This increases the voice of African states in the institution.
We contributed to the formulation of a G20 agreement on reform of the International Monetary Fund, in such a way as to promote the interests of Sub-Saharan Africa.
South Africa has promoted the trade and development objectives of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and defended the Doha Round’s development mandate.
Trade and Investment
Implementation of our export and investment promotion and facilitation policies has resulted in progress in relation to raising exports of high value-added products to target economies. The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership concluded with China gives greater market access for these products.
We have seen an increase in the number of foreign tourist arrivals and a concomitant rise in spending by foreign tourists.
As we have done in the past, we delivered another safe, secure and incident free international conference (COP17).
The final outcome of the Durban UN Conference on Climate Change produced an agreement that advances the global effort needed to address the global climate change crisis. Furthermore it sets a new long-term pathway for the development of a fair and legally binding future multi-lateral and rules-based global climate change system which can balance climate and development imperatives.
This legal climate change regime is applicable to all parties by 2015, to come into effect by 2020. This breakthrough is a milestone and a foundation on which to build for the Rio plus 20 Summit in Brazil, which will mark the 10th anniversary of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
As the cluster, we note the work done, but are cognizant that of the fact that a lot of effort should still be dedicated to achieving the mandate of the Cluster.
Through our international engagements the intention is to also support the implementation and achievement of the five domestic priorities – education, health, jobs, rural development, and crime including infrastructure development plan.In addition, we will also work to increase market access for South African exports to contribute to economic growth and the creation of jobs.
Southern African Customs Union
SACU is in the process of developing a regional framework for cooperation on industrial development.In parallel the SACU Council has also decided to identify eight priority sectors for cross-border collaboration on regional industrialisation (clothing, textile and apparel; agro-processing; mineral beneficiation; leather and leather products; automotives including components; renewable energy; arts and craft and support services including infrastructure, transport and logistics, skills development), with immediate implementation of collaboration programmes in certain sectors. Technical work is ongoing to identify complementarities and to concretise the work programme on sectors where it is possible to promote value-chains and cooperation.
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20)
As part of an on-going engagement, government will convene multi-stakeholder engagement workshops to solicit inputs and develop a comprehensive South African position for Rio+20. Furthermore, South Africa will participate extensively in the preparatory meetings and side meetings of the conference. South Africa will host bilateral meetings with like minded countries on the substantive issues regarding the outcome of Rio+20.
Rio+20 is aimed at securing renewed political commitment to sustainable development, assessing the progress and implementation gaps in meeting already agreed commitments, and addressing new and emerging challenges.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
South Africa will utilise its election as a non-permanent member to the UN Security Council (UNSC) to continue promoting better and deeper coordination and cooperation between the UNSC and the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC).
AU Peace and Security Council
The draft Strategy for SA Engagement towards improving African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) working methods, conflict prevention capacities and improving the function of Early Warning is under development.
The South African Development Partnership Agency (SADPA)
The South African Development Partnership Agency (SADPA) is currently in the concept phase. The draft Bill for the establishment of the SADPA Fund has been finalised for presentation to Cabinet for approval before being published in the Gazette for public comments.
The feasibility and Business Case has been completed and is awaiting approval by National Treasury and Department of Public Service and Administration. Work is also underway to finalise the Strategic Framework and the SADPA Programme Lifecycle scheduled for completion by the first quarter of 2012.
Enhanced African Agenda and Sustainable Development
The main objective of our foreign policy is the pursuit of our national interests and priorities. This policy is framed with the African Agenda premised on the understanding that our future is inextricably linked with that of the continent. We cannot sustain our hard won freedom and prosperity, unless our neighbours are safe and prosperous.
Peace Keeping Missions in Africa
South African government will continue to contribute to peace keeping on the continent through various peace keeping missions, MISTRAL, CORDITE, SENOKO, COPPER and VIMBEZELA. Our involvement is premised on our appreciation that Africa’s economic development depends on the substance of peace and stability. The SANDF’s contribution to peace improves the lives of fellow Africans and also facilitates South African access to develop new markets on the continent in the wake of the new possibilities created.
South African Maritime Strategy
In 2011 the DOD developed and adopted the South African Maritime Strategy that was adopted by Cabinet. The strategy was discussed and adopted by the SADC summit held in Angola in June and is now being piloted by three SADC countries, namely RSA, Tanzania and Mozambique.
Simultaneously, the SANDF as a strategic partner within the context of maritime interests and responsibilities in the Southern African Region is involved in a number of initiatives on a bilateral and multinational basis to ensure security against piracy in the SADC waters.
It is worth noting that South Africa has signed a pact with two SADC countries, Tanzania and Mozambique on Maritime Security Cooperation which will see the three countries working together in securing the territorial waters while ensuring the free flow of goods for economic development of SADC and the African Continent as a whole.
In addition to the trilateral agreement signed by South Africa recently, the SANDF over the past week hosted SADC Standing Maritime Committee (SMC) meeting in Durban which is aimed at promoting peace and prosperity through maritime military cooperation among the SADC member states. It is therefore befitting to state that as South Africa through the SANDF, we remain committed with our resources to keep our seas secured from piracy.
Reformed Global Governance Institutions
The current global governance system in the areas of economic development, resources for development, the maintenance of international peace and security and the application of international law do not adequately address the challenges confronting humanity. In this regard, our priorities are premised on working towards a strengthened United Nations (UN) that is able to adapt and provide a framework for collective responses by the international community.
South Africa secured the re-election of Adv Pantsy Tlakula to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), during the June 2011 AU Summit. The AU also reaffirmed its support for the nomination of Adv Dire Tladi to the UN International Law Commission.
South Africa contributed to the formulation of G20 agreement on reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and sought to promote the interests of Sub-Saharan Africa. The Executive Director position on the Board of the IMF is to be allocated to the Sub-continent.
South Africa participates in G77 processes to help influence the formulation of common positions of the countries of the South. The South African Permanent Mission in New York regularly participates in meetings of the NAM Coordinating Bureau and other working groups of the Movement.The Missions in Geneva and Vienna are also active in the NAM Chapters in those two centres.
Enhanced strategy to prioritise both exports and investment
The DTI has embarked on an enhanced strategy to prioritise both exports and investment in this regard top ten investment projects and top ten value add export products have been identified for our engagement with China and we will continue to apply the high growth markets. Furthermore a reviewed strategy for investment and exports is envisaged in the new financial year! This will incorporate appropriate measures for investment as well as interventions that will enhance participation of emerging exporters in the economy.
Although South Africa has fully met all its obligations under the SADC Trade Protocol, non-compliance by some Members still present challenges for consolidating the SADC FTA. A draft South African position on the FTA has been developed and being consulted with stakeholders in NEDLAC.
Five Spatial Development Initiatives (SDIs) have been prioritised over the MTSF, namely: Mozambique SDI Programme Phase (Ph) 2; Tanzania SDI Ph2; DRC SDI Ph2; ANSA SDI Ph1; Zimbabwe SDI Ph1. The ANSA SDI is at a stakeholder engagement stage. The Mtwara corridor in Tanzania has investors for implementation.
Principles for SACU trade negotiations were negotiated and approved by the ADC Summit in March 2011. There has been steady progress in the work on regional industrialisation. The SACU Council has identified eight priority sectors for cross-border collaboration on regional industrialisation, with immediate implementation of collaboration programmes in three sectors. There is also good progress in the priority areas of SACU’s trade facilitation programme.
International Tourism growth
To increase tourism’s contribution to the growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Department of Tourism, through its public entity (South African Tourism) implements an international tourism marketing strategy with the intention of increasing the number of international tourist arrivals and the average spend per international tourist in the country. All this efforts contribute to increased numbers of international arrivals in the country.
Due to the lag in availability of tourism statistics, the latest available figures are for January – September 2011. Foreign Arrivals (excluding workers and contract workers) for January to September 2011: 8 900 682. This amounts to a 7.2% increase compared to the same period in 2010. Tourist Arrivals January to September 2011: 6 100 270, a 2.6% increase compared to the same period in 2010. Total average spends for January to September 2011: R8 500.”
Square Kilometer Array (SKA)
Science, technology and innovation underpin the foundations of any modern state, and must play an important role in South Africa’s economic growth, and in our efforts to eradicate poverty, disease and inequality, as well as unemployment and skills shortages.
The shift, in which science, technology and innovation play central roles, has come to be associated with what is being called the “knowledge economy”.
South Africa can and must develop its people, its infrastructure, its science and technology in order to compete in this global knowledge economy through the development of innovative new products and services, and we are investing heavily in this future.
For these reasons, South Africa has committed itself to the development of astronomy in Africa through a range of different projects, including our bid to host the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) telescope in Africa.
Its construction cost is estimated at nearly 2 billion Euros, with annual operating costs of about 150 million Euros. If this project were to be located in Africa, it would bring with it massive development opportunities, especially with respect to information and communications technology infrastructure, and it would bring Africa closer to the global centre of cutting-edge science and technology.
International Cooperation on Research
The DST has active bilateral cooperation agreements with many developed countries and especially with the European Union (EU).Through these cooperation agreements South African researchers are able to access international science and technology networks, knowledge databases and research infrastructures, as well as international funding for research activities.
The EU, for example, has awarded research grants worth R250 million to South African researchers in the last 3 years alone, and an additional R300 million to the Department of Science and Technology in support of its programmes to extend the benefits of science and technology to poor and rural communities.
Bilateral Cooperation Projects
The DST has active bilateral cooperation projects with many of the SADC countries, and leads a number of regional projects in the SADC region aimed at enhancing the region’s science and technology capacity.Specifically, the DST is very active in the development of a SADC Science, Technology and Innovation strategy, as well as a SADC strategy for science and technology in climate change – for both these projects the Department has attracted International Development
Cooperation partners from developed countries in support of the SADC region. Lastly, the Department has for three years seconded an official to the SADC Executive Secretariat to assist in promoting science and technology projects in the region.
We remain fully supportive of efforts to deliver on outcome 11 “creating a better South Africa and contributing to a better and safer Africa in a better world” – which is anchored on four outputs:
1. Enhanced African Agenda and Sustainable Development
2. Enhanced regional integration
3. Reformed global governance institutions
4. Enhanced trade and investment
I thank you.
Chief Director: International Cooperation, Trade and Security Cluster
Cell: 082 574 5494
E-mail: [email protected]
Issued by: Department of Defence
26 Feb 2012