Bua Briefs 127

22 August 2008

Final communiqué of the 28th Summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and government

The Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 16 to 17 August, 2008.

The summit was officially opened by Hon. Kabinga J Pande, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Representative of the President of the Republic of Zambia, and SADC Chairperson, H.E. Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC.

The summit elected H.E. Mr Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki, the President of the Republic of South Africa, and H.E. President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of SADC, respectively.

The summit elected H.M. King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Swaziland and H.E. President Armando Emilio Guebuza of the Republic of Mozambique as Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, respectively.

The summit was attended by the following Heads of State and Government:

  • Angola: H.E. President José Eduardo dos Santos
  • DRC: H.E. President Joseph Kabila
  • Lesotho: The Rt. Hon. Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Lesao Lehohla
  • Madagascar: H.E President Marc Ravalomanana
  • Malawi: H.E. President Bingu wa Mutharika
  • Mauritius: Dr. the Hon. Prime Minister, Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK
  • Mozambique: H.E. President Armando Emílio Guebuza Namibia H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba
  • Seychelles: H. E. President James Alix Michel
  • South Africa: H.E. President Thabo Mbeki
  • Swaziland: H.M. King Mswati III
  • United Republic of Tanzania: H.E. President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete
  • Zambia: Hon. Kabinga J. Pande, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Special Representative of H.E. Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC
  • Zimbabwe: H.E. President Robert Gabriel Mugabe

The following organisations were also represented at the summit: African Union Commission (AUC); United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA); Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA); East African Community (EAC); Southern Africa Customs Union (Sacu); SADC Tribunal; SADC Parliamentary Forum; Economic Commission for West African States (Ecowas) and the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad).

President Mbeki, host of the 28th summit, welcomed the SADC Heads of State and Government and other delegates to South Africa.

The summit’s outgoing Chairperson, H.E. President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, in an address read on his behalf by his Special Representative, Hon. Pande, thanked member states for the support rendered to him during his tenure. He emphasised the importance of upholding peace, security and democracy as a prerequisite for advancing the regional development agenda. He noted the progress made towards deeper regional integration, specifically the launch of the SADC Free Trade Area (FTA) that took place during the summit. He further emphasised the need for infrastructure development, food security as well as strengthening the capacity of the SADC Secretariat to ensure effective implementation of regional integration programmes. He handed over the SADC Chairpersonship to President Mbeki.

In accepting the SADC Chairpersonship, President Mbeki thanked the outgoing Chairperson for the progress achieved during his leadership of SADC and on behalf of the summit expressed the wish for President Mwanawasa’s speedy recovery. He recalled that the strength and achievement of SADC over many years has been derived from its political unity and cohesion and that this will be required to address the current challenges facing the region, including reversing marginalisation, and addressing the twin scourges of underdevelopment and poverty.

The summit received a report from the outgoing Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, H.E. President José Eduardo dos Santos, on the implementation of the Strategic Indicative Plan of the Organ, with specific reference to the political and security situation in the region.

The summit recognised that the region had managed to consolidate peace and democracy in SADC. With regard to the ongoing challenges in Zimbabwe, the summit noted the outcomes of the Extraordinary Summit of the Organ, held during the course of the summit, and reaffirmed its commitment to work with the people of Zimbabwe to overcome the challenges they are facing.

On the economic front, the summit noted the positive economic performance recorded by SADC member states in 2007 and called for concerted efforts to sustain this progress. Against this background, the summit observed with concern the new challenges emerging as a result of especially the energy and food price crises which risk reversing the gains made by the region.

The summit reviewed the progress report of the Ministerial Task Force on Food Security and adopted various measures aimed at enhancing regional food security, including the establishment of a Regional Food Reserve Facility.

The Summit welcomed the initiatives currently underway to mitigate against the negative consequences of the critical shortage and high prices of energy faced by the region.

The summit launched the SADC FTA, which is the first milestone in the regional economic integration agenda. The summit recognises that free trade in the region will create a larger market, releasing potential for trade, economic development and employment creation.

The summit called for the acceleration of interventions to further deepen the regional integration agenda through the development of a programme of co-operation aimed at expanding regional production capacity, which entails provision and rehabilitation of regional infrastructure to take advantage of a more open regional economy. In addition, the summit emphasised the need for full implementation of the SADC Protocol on Trade to ensure that the FTA is sustainable and the envisaged Customs Union in SADC is attainable.

The summit signed the following legal instruments:

i.Agreement Amending the Treaty

ii.Protocol on Gender and Development

iii.Protocol on Science, Technology and Innovation

iv.Agreement Amending Article 20 of the Protocol on Trade

v.Agreement Amending Article 6 of the Protocol on the Tribunal and the Rules of Procedure thereof.

The Summit welcomed Seychelles back as a member of SADC.

The summit welcomed progress on the preparations for the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Summit to be held in October 2008 as an important vehicle for harmonising the regional integration programmes. It also constitutes an important framework for broader continental integration.

The summit expressed its appreciation to the Government and people of South Africa for the warm hospitality extended to all delegates and the facilities provided.

President Mbeki officially closed the summit. The 2009 Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government will be held in the DRC.


Heritage Day (24 September 2008)

Heritage Day on 24 September recognises and celebrates the cultural wealth of our nation. Within a broader social and political context, events during Heritage Month provide opportunities to nurture cultural pride and inculcate a shared identity, promoting unity in diversity and reconciliation.

Our rich and unique cultural heritage has a profound power to promote national unity, and strengthen nation-building, reconciliation and patriotism

The struggle against injustice and inequality represented the unity of all freedom-loving South Africans and demonstrated our resolve towards achieving a common goal.

Our unique South African identity is born out of diversity, yet bound together by the values of democracy, equality and the values of our Constitution.

We have, despite our differences, inculcated a shared identity that promotes unity in diversity, which has given rise to a new culture of co-existence and tolerance.

We are committed to working with all our social partners to build on our collective heritage as a nation.

Through our National Orders we honour those who have made exceptional contributions to our freedom and democracy, nation-building and reconciliation

We honour the contributions of our unsung heroes and heroines who continue to inspire all citizens to emulate their spirit, courage and commitment to the development of South Africa.

We will work together to heal the divisions of our past and promote a society based on democratic values, social justice and human rights; to unite all humanity in our country and the African continent.

Dance is a major means of artistic expression, and expanding and exploring new territory

Heritage Day celebrations will be an expression of pride in multinational dance; it will promote indigenous dance, and encourage new dancers, especially among the youth.

Let this year’s Heritage Day enhances the values that define our humanity and mobilises communities to act together in building a country united in diversity.

"Celebrating our Dance, our Heritage"


Economic highlights

Economic boom sees Group Five performing well

  • Group Five was able to ride global stock markets turmoil, higher interest rates, a weaker rand and load shedding in the first half of the year, thanks to a buoyant construction sector and its product and geographic-diversification strategy. The revenue rose 16% to R8,9 billion from R7,7 billion in the previous period, while operating profit before fair value was up 62% as Group Five shifted its focus from private to larger public-sector infrastructure projects and consolidated its operations abroad. Fully diluted headline earnings per share increased 70% to 398c from 233c in the previous year.

Joburg bus system set to roll before Confederations Cup 2009

  • The first phase of Rea Vaya, Joburg's new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) , will be ready before the Confederations Cup kicks off on 14 June 2009, reports the City of Joburg. At a project update, mayoral committee member for transport, Rehana Moosajee, said the construction schedule will be completed on a sufficient scale to serve the needs of the 2009 Confederations Cup.