Bua Briefs 13 of 2010

14 October 2010

State visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt

President Jacob Zuma will pay a state visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 19 to 20 October 2010. Discussions between presidents Zuma and Hosni Mubarak will focus on strengthening bilateral relations between South Africa and Egypt. Bilateral political, economic and trade relations between the two countries have improved since South Africa achieved democracy in 1994. President Mubarak conducted his first state visit to South Africa in July 2008.

South Africa is committed to consolidating bilateral political, economic and trade relations with Egypt

  • There are currently more than 30 existing agreements between South Africa and Egypt signed under the umbrella of the South Africa-Egypt Joint Bilateral Commission (JBC). The 8th JBC was held from 5 to 10 March 2010.
  • Bilateral economic relations between the two countries have steadily improved over the past few years. Between 2006 and June 2010, trade was favourable to South Africa with total exports amounting to R3,476 billion while imports totalled R2,356 billion. The trade balance between the two countries amounted to R1,120 billion.
  • Among issues such as strengthening bilateral cooperation in arts and culture, tourism, science and technology and the economy, South Africa will also discuss possibilities for oil exploration by PetroSA. Despite the energy sector making up only about 15% of Egypt’s gross domestic product, South Africa still sees that country as one of the continent’s important producers of oil and gas, even though its oil reserves are said to be on the decline.
  • The long-term vision of an African continent united under a common vision can only be achieved when all countries of the continent have achieved significant macro-economic and social progress. At the moment, South Africa is the largest economy on the continent followed by Egypt.

South Africa and Egypt, as members of the developing world, share common positions on the reform of global political and economic governance

  • South Africa is committed to the strengthening of continental institutions that are critical in responding to the challenges of poverty and underdevelopment as well as peace, security and stability on the continent.
  • South Africa and Egypt are committed to the integration of the African continent within the framework of the African Union (AU) and support the strengthening of continental economic integration through the regional economic communities.
  • South Africa and Egypt are both members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which Egypt currently chairs. South Africa became a member of NAM in 1994 and participates in its meetings within the context of promoting South-South cooperation and advancing the interests of the developing countries on the global stage.
  • South Africa and Egypt are also both members of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), a platform established by China and friendly African countries for collective consultation and dialogue and a cooperation mechanism between the developing countries. Egypt currently chairs FOCAC.
  • South Africa was in October 2010 re-elected to a non-permanent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat for 2011/12. South Africa’s bid was endorsed by the AU in January 2010.

South Africa remains deeply committed to achieving global priorities to ensure a better world for all who live in it

  • South Africa supports peace in the Middle East as crucial, not only for the peoples and countries of the region, but also for international peace and security. South Africa remains convinced that unconditional negotiations are the only way to end the conflict in the Middle East and to bring about an end to the occupation of Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian territories. Egypt is an influential player in the Middle East Peace Process.
  • A collective and coordinated global effort is needed to ensure the achievement of the millennium development goals (MDGs). The MDGs must be linked to development goals and targets to ensure synergy and an integrated approach in achieving the goals.
  • South Africa is seized with ensuring a legally binding climate change agreement that will govern the world’s response to the increasingly visible effects of climate change. South Africa reiterates that any final agreement must support the developmental agenda of the South. The transfer of skills and technology from the developed countries to the developing countries remains a key factor in achieving climate change targets.
  • South Africa supports post-conflict reconstruction and development in Africa, in among other countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Burundi. Within the context of the AU Peace and Security Council, South Africa will continue to support initiatives to ensure peace and security on the continent. Egypt contributes 5 000 troops to peacekeeping efforts in Africa and is a key participant in the Nile Commission on the disputed sharing of Nile water.



  • Sasol: Alternative energy source programme
    Sasol has started an alternative energy source programme that is especially targeted at developers of new housing and at the low-income housing market. The infrastructure to install the product will add to developer’s costs. It will considerably reduce the pressure on South Africa’s electricity network and ensure that buildings have a reliable alternative source of energy at all times, alleviating the household burden of rising electricity tariffs. Each house will have its own gas meter and households will be able to pay for the gas in advance.


  • Gauteng economy still leads South Africa
    According to the Gauteng Provincial Economic Review and Outlook, the province continues to contribute the most to South Africa's gross domestic product at over 35%. This trend is expected to continue into 2014.
  • South African retirement industry ranks among top 15
    The South African retirement fund industry ranks among the largest 15 internationally. According to the Association for Savings and Investment SA, the industry has eight million members and manages assets close to R2 trillion.

Stand up and be counted: Census 2011

  • South Africans countrywide have been called to participate in Census 2011. This is the third national census since the advent of democracy. Statistics South Africa will deploy 120 000 officials dressed in yellow bibs across the country to document all people, including illegal immigrants and the homeless from 10 to 31 October 2011. The dry run is scheduled nationwide between 10 and 31 October 2010.

United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat

  • South Africa has won a non-permanent seat on the UNSC for the second time. The country will push for international peace and the African Agenda during its two-year term. South Africa, India and Columbia all secured two-year terms on the council in uncontested votes.

South Africa wins at the Commonwealth Games

  • Team South Africa has scooped 31 medals at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi so far, with the swimmers having earned seven gold medals.

Improvement in South Africa’s reputation

  • According to a study released by the Reputation Institute in South Africa, the country’s reputation within the G8 countries improved after the successful hosting of the Soccer World Cup. South Africa has moved from a 44,6 score to 49,11, which is on par with Peru and Thailand. The Institute did a study of South Africa's reputation among G8 countries in January this year and followed it up with a post-World Cup, survey in August.