Daily Archives: July 11, 2016

Remarks by President Jacob Zuma to the South Africa-France Business Forum on the occasion of the State Visit to France, Paris

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Bonjour.

Allow me to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to President Hollande for the outstanding hospitality since our arrival on the occasion of my second State Visit to The French Republic.

I take this opportunity to congratulate the French Republic for successfully organising a good UEFA soccer tournament.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The visit builds on the successful State Visit by President Hollande to South Africa in 2013. We are today building on the foundation laid at that visit.

The State Visit takes place under the theme “Working together as equal partners to explore opportunities and address the challenges of the 21st Century”.

The theme is appropriate given that the visit takes place soon after the referendum in the United Kingdom which resolved that the UK should leave the European Union.

The so-called Brexit holds implications way beyond the borders of the UK and the member states of the EU.

The withdrawal outcome has impacted seriously on world economies and markets, and both our countries have been affected. We will impress upon France to play a role during this period of finding solutions that will not cause further difficulties on the global economy.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is an important visit through which we want to further expand relations between our two countries.

We want to expand cooperation in line with government priorities of both countries, including in the areas of energy, maritime, agriculture, science and technology, education, arts and culture, defence and development cooperation.

We are meeting with business during this visit because it is our intention to see an expansion of trade relations with France, and especially to increase our exports to France.

I am confident that this Business Forum will further advance investment and trade levels in support of the national priorities of our two countries.

France is an important trade, investment and tourism partner for South Africa. France is one of the biggest sources of inward tourism to South Africa.

We also value the investments from France which amounted to over R24 billion last year, creating more than 4000 jobs. In 2015, the overall volume of trade totalled R33 billion.

French companies have acquired lucrative contracts in South Africa, in the infrastructure and energy programmes, amounting to billions of Rand.

We are keen to see increased industrialisation, localisation, job creation and skills development linked to the large infrastructure and energy contracts acquired by French companies.

We believe that there is further room to increase bilateral trade and investment.

We want France to partner as we take further the transformation of our economy, to ensure inclusivity and sustainability. One of the key programmes in this regard is the Black Industrialist programme which seeks to promote the participation of black entrepreneurs in manufacturing.

We are confident that partnership with beneficiaries of the Black Industrialists programme will contribute meaningfully in any joint venture that will be undertaken with French business.

We welcome the recent signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and six countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), including South Africa.

This development-oriented agreement is the first of its kind with an African region pursuing regional economic integration.

In pragmatic terms, this means that South Africa has achieved improved market access for 32 agricultural products, with a significant improvement in our access to the EU market for wine, sugar and ethanol within the agreed upon duty free ranges.

Yes, South African wine is the best! If you have not tasted it yet, do not be left behind. Do so without delay.

You will not be disappointed.

There is also improved access for our exports of flowers, some dairy, fruit and fruit products.

Furthermore, intra-regional trade and industrialisation across southern and Eastern Africa will be facilitated as a result of the improvement of the EPA rules of origin.

We welcome the agreement that the EU will eliminate export subsidies on agricultural goods destined to the Southern African Customs Union as this will go a long way in addressing the trade imbalance to the two regions.

As signatories to the Economic Partnership Agreement, France and South Africa must take advantage of the vast opportunities that exist within bilateral trade and investment landscape.

This year will also see the implementation of the Tripartite Free Trade Area which is an agreement between the Heads of State of 26 African countries to establish a free trade area.

It combines the Southern Africa Development Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the East African Community.

This economic integration will create a common market which will comprise of 600 million consumers, a combined GDP of one trillion dollars and offer enormous opportunities for business.

Infrastructure development will be a major driving force in unlocking this growth potential.

Inadequate infrastructure is one of the main factors inhibiting trade, integration and economic development. It has been calculated that if the continent continues to narrow its infrastructure gap, economic growth will receive a further large boost – perhaps by as much as 2 percentage points a year.

Within this context, I am championing the Presidential Infrastructure Committee Initiative and herein lie opportunities for France to partner with us in specific aspects of the North-South corridor.

This tripartite partnership would also ensure continuity of the commitment made by myself and President Hollande during the last State Visit to South Africa in October 2013. At the Business Forum of 2013 we spoke at length to the theme “South Africa and France working together for Africa’s Industrialisation”.

Business is a key player towards the achievement of those goals.

We are pleased to meet with you as business today, and we wish to remind you that South Africa remains open for business and meaningful economic partnerships.

Let me wish you every success in your business interaction.

I thank you.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

Toast remarks by HE President Jacob Zuma on the occasion of the State Banquet hosted by HE President Francois Hollande of France, A�lysee Palace, Paris

Your Excellency President Franswa Hollande,

Your Excellency Prime Minister Manuel Valls,

Your Excellences Honourable Ministers,

Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps,

Distinguished Guests,

Mr President,

Let me extend our heartfelt gratitude for the invitation and also the warm French hospitality that has been accorded to my delegation and I since our arrival.

The warmth and excellent arrangements are indicative of the warm relations between the two countries.

Mr President,

Your visit to South Africa in 2013 was a memorable occasion that further cemented the warm relations between our two countries.

Today we have built on that solid foundation.

The Agreements and Declarations that we have signed earlier today in the areas of education, arts and culture, agriculture, development cooperation as well as business and investment, confirm our collective determination to take our relations to a higher level.

The renewed Partnership Framework Document on development cooperation for the period 2016-2019 that we also signed this morning makes provision for collaboration in the promotion of our country’s national priorities.

Mr President,

The importance of cooperation in the field of culture between our two countries was again demonstrated this morning with the signing of the Programme of Cooperation in the field of Arts and Culture, which is an outflow of the successful Seasons Project between South Africa and France.

I met the business leaders of both countries this morning, and impressed upon them the need to further advance trade relations.

France continues to be one of our biggest trading partners and investors.

We welcome the presence of French companies in South Africa that provide employment opportunities and skills development to our people.

We look forward to further advancing cooperation in this regard.

In line with its National Development Plan, South Africa is working intensely to promote growth and to create decent sustainable jobs, to diversify its economy and ensure that its development is inclusive and leaves no one behind.

We therefore welcome cooperation with France on education and skills development.

We exchanged views on the outcome of the referendum in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

We look to France playing an important role, working with other members of the EU and also the UK, to chart the way forward in a manner that will not cause further hardship in an already fragile global economy.

We also had the opportunity to exchange views on the peace and security issues on the African Continent and around the world.

We have discussed on-going efforts by regional organisations, the African Union and the United Nations in promoting peace and security on the Continent.

Mr President,

It was a very special occasion for me today when I received the digitised Rivonia Trial dictabelts, which will safeguard an invaluable part of South Africa’s history for generations to come.

Mr President, tomorrow I will have the honour of presiding over the Centenary Commemoration of the Battle of Delville Wood.

As I have mentioned this morning, this Commemoration is of special significance to all South Africans.

We will use the occasion to redress one of the injustices of the past. In preparation for the centenary celebrations, the South African Delville Wood memorial has been transformed in order to ensure that the historical role played by black South Africans in the First and Second World Wars, is also accorded the necessary recognition as that given to white South Africans.

Mr President,

On behalf of the Government and the People of the Republic of South Africa, may I use this opportunity to wish you and the People of the French Republic well on the celebration of your national day on 14 July.

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

May I request you to rise and join me in proposing a toast to the good health and success of His Excellency President Hollande and the people of the French Republic!

I thank you.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

Government calls on citizens to join 5 days countdown to the International Aids Conference

Government calls on members of the public, civil society, faith-based organisations, business and all sectors to join the 5 Days Countdown to the 21st International AIDS Conference. The countdown commemoration will be on Wednesday the 13th of July 2016.

The 21st International AIDS Conference, commonly known as AIDS2016, will be held from 18 to 22 July 2016 at the Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban under the theme “Access Equity Rights – Now”. More than 18 000 delegates comprising the world’s top scientists, civil society members and policymakers from 180 countries are expected to converge to discuss the fight against HIV and AIDS.

All citizens are invited to wear black, white and red clothing, the official colours of the #AIDS2016 conference, and gather as groups from 12:00 – 12:30. The public is requested to do symbolic acts of lighting candles, observing prayer moments, or releasing red/white/black balloons at exactly 12:15 to remember those affected or living with HIV/AIDS.

The colours symbolise the following:

Red: Awareness and support for those living with HIV and AIDS.

White: A beacon of hope in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Black: A symbol of honour and remembrance for all those who passed on due to the pandemic.

Government also calls on motorists who will be on the roads at 125 to support the campaign by hooting for 5 minutes as a sign of support.

Deputy Director General of GCIS, Nebo Legoabe said: “Organisations are requested to also display HIV-related educational information and provide services at various strategic points of their choice around the country. HIV/AIDS affect us all and as a country we have come a long way in fighting this pandemic and the struggle continues. It is in our hands as citizens of this country to have an AIDS free generation”.

Members of the media wishing to cover the 21st International AIDS Conference are advised to apply for accreditation by completing the online registration form on the link http://www.gcis.gov.za/content/media-registration. The deadline for the submission of applications is Friday, 15 July 2016.

Media accreditation enquiries should be directed to Mmemme Mogotsi on 072 856 4288/ mmemme@gcis.gov.za. No media will be allowed access to the Conference venues without accreditation. Details for collection of accreditation cards will be communicated accordingly.

Source: Government of South Africa.

North West Social Development hosts memorial service for late MEC Kgakgamatso Nkewu

The MEC for North West Department of Social Development Kgakgamatso Nkewu who died last week Thursday in a car accident will be accorded a Provincial Official Funeral, Category 1, and will be laid to rest on Saturday, 16 July at Molelema village in Taung.

The President of the Republic of South Africa has also instructed that the National Flag fly at half-mast in the North West Province, on the day of the funeral of MEC Nkewu.

Source: Government of South Africa.

Road Traffic Management Corporation sends investigators to probe horrific road crash in Harding

The Road Traffic Management Corporation has sent accident reconstruction experts to the scene of a major horrific road crash in Harding, KwaZulu-Natal where 11 people have died and eight injured.

The crash happen on Sunday when an Isuzu light delivery vehicles apparently overturned on a municipal road D1079. The exact cause of the crash is unknown at this stage.

The experts will examine the vehicle, the condition of the road, and the behaviour of the driver moments before the crash occurred in order to the determine the exact cause of the collision

The crash represents a major setback in the country’s effort to halve the number of road collisions and fatalities, particularly as it seems that the vehicle was overloaded.

A five year crash analysis has indicated that light delivery vehicles are contributing the second highest number of fatal crashes on the roads.

Sedans and other private vehicles are the highest contributors to fatal crashes with a contribution of 46%, light delivery vehicles contribute 17%, minibuses, combis and midibus vehicles contribute nine percent, trucks contributed five percent, while busses contribute one percent while motorcycles contribute nine percent.

There are three main causes that lead to fatalities on South African roads. These are human error, un-roadworthy vehicle and environmental or road related factors.

Human error – including driving as speeds that are too high for circumstances, driving under the influence of liquor or drugs as well as reckless and negligent driving – is the leading cause contributing 79% of all fatal crashes followed by envirornmental or road factors that including sharp bends, poor visibility, slippery surfaces and stray animals. Environmental factors contribute to 13% of crashes.

Source: Government of South Africa.