Bua Briefs 128

19 September 2008


The Zimbabwean parties have signed a power-sharing agreement to end the political and economic challenges facing that country

The Zimbabwean political leaders have signed a power-sharing agreement [PDF] 73 kb at a ceremony witnessed by Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders.

The agreement marks the first step towards rebuilding their country; and we all commend the people of Zimbabwe on this historic milestone.

This power-sharing deal represents an African solution, negotiated by Africans to resolve their own challenges.

We recognise with appreciation the role played by the SADC facilitation mission under the leadership of President Thabo Mbeki and commend his mediation efforts. The political settlement affirms the power of collective wisdom within SADC and Africa.

The 15-nation SADC and the African Union call on the international community to support the Zimbabwean power-sharing agreement

African leaders and the world should endorse and provide support to the Zimbabweans in addressing their challenges.

The international community should give all the necessary and critical support to help the Zimbabweans in rebuilding their economy and reconcile its citizens to move towards a united society.

We will use the 63rd United Nations General Assembly platform to mobilise support and resources for the reconstruction and development of Zimbabwe.

The people of South Africa, working together with the region, SADC and the rest of Africa, are ready to partner with Zimbabweans as they embark on the difficult road of reconstruction, reconciliation and nation-building

The parties have come a long way; from standing in complete opposite corners to an agreement on a common cause.

South Africa will continue to work with the new Government of Zimbabwe to ensure that the country is on the right track to recovery and development.


63rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 63)

The 63rd session of the UNGA will convene on the 23 September 2008 at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York.  The theme for the general debate is: The impact of the Global Food Crises on Poverty and Hunger in the World as well as the need to Democratise the UN.

The biggest gathering of heads of state this year coincides with the mid-term review of the millennium development goals (MDGs), set to be achieved by 2015.

African countries are struggling to achieve the MDGs and are still facing obstacles in the eradication of poverty and hunger.

UNGA63 provides an opportunity for world leaders to renew their commitment to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by supporting the New Partnership for Africa’s Development programmes and focus attention on how to address the challenges.

The meeting will mobilise global political and co-operative action to address the scale and urgency of the challenge of climate change.

UNGA63 should accelerate the implementation of MDGs and enhance global partnership, solidarity and support for developing countries

Africa should demand acceleration of the implementation of commitments that were outcomes of major UN and other international conferences.

The high-level meeting is expected to conclude the adoption of a forward- looking Political Declaration on the implementation of development commitments to Africa.

Heads of state and government should pronounce themselves on major issues of international concern, including the issue of UN reform and democratising the Security Council.

Developing countries need a stronger voice within the UN to be able to advance its development agenda.

UN reform and the democratisation of the Security Council are important milestones for the member countries

The Security Council must work in co-operation with the African Union in resolving conflict in Africa.

With the recent success in the Zimbabwe negotiations, we will use the remainder of our term as non-permanent member of the Security Council to advance peace and security in Africa.

We celebrate and acknowledge the recent appointment of Judge Navi Pillay of South Africa as the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. We are proud to announce Ambassador Abdul Samad Minty’s candidature for the position of Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency.


Economic highlights

Infrastructure investment

  • Transnet has installed a new R15-million, high-tech system at a terminal at the Port of Durban, with plans to introduce the technology next year to other terminals that have heavy container traffic. This automated gate will eliminate delays and improve safety, aligning the port operator with the standards of global ports such as Antwerp, Rotterdam, Portsmouth and Sydney.

Eskom to ease electricity shortages

  • South Africa’s planned investment in large projects surged to R336 billion in the first half of the year. Eskom is spending R343 billion over five years to boost capacity and ease electricity shortages.
  • The Government will be spending R568 billion in the next three years on power plants, roads and stadiums as it prepares to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.