Bua Briefs 125

26 June 2008

G8 Summit

The 2008 G8 Summit will be held in Toyako, on the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan from 7 to 9 July 2008.

The summit follows various meetings of the G8 ministers responsible for development co-operation, finance, environment, energy, science and technology. These meetings were attended by representatives from Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Republic of Korea, South Africa, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Secretariat; the African Union Commission, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the United Nations Children's Fund, the World Health Organisation and the World Bank.

The G8 summit follows the World Economic Forum on Africa 2008, with the aim of generating critical insight and identifying priorities for action for a lasting impact on Africa's future

The G8 must reaffirm their commitment to strengthen efforts for development assistance and make our aid more effective. It has to build on the outcome of the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV).

A resolution is vital to enhance partnership among G8 members as well as with new players in development co-operation.

We believe that the G8 cannot solve the many pressing global problems without the involvement of the emerging powers.

We have interacted with the G8 over six years to promote a better understanding of the challenges confronting Africa and to help find effective solutions.

The G8 needs to reinvigorate efforts and renew commitments to continue to assist the developing world to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015

The G8 members should recognise the value of a “participatory approach”, in which all key stakeholders work together to address development challenges. This could be achieved by committing to assist with strengthening efforts in the health sector; reviewing the Evian Action Plan to measure its progress in the water and sanitation sector; and sharing relevant technologies, know-how and data for effective water management.

The summit will reaffirm support to expand access to and improve quality of basic education and reiterate commitments to “Education for All” and recognise the importance of a cross-sectoral approach, including Education for Sustainable Development.

Working in partnership with the developing countries, the African agenda will be central to the G8 agenda of development.

The G8 countries should increase their own efforts and support to developing countries, in particular in Africa, to meet global environmental challenges

The leadership of G8 countries will reduce their own emissions, to support developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

South Africa is ready to take its fair share of responsibility to address climate change and the interlinked challenges of sustainable development, food and energy security, and human health.

On the basis of the authoritative scientific evidence presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the G8 countries should commit to reducing their emissions well below 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. It requires developed countries collectively to reduce their emissions by at least 25% to 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.

The dialogue between major economies will make a meaningful contribution to the multilateral process. It will provide an opportunity to clarify positions, explore approaches, develop options and foster an improved understanding in support of the multilateral negotiations

A draft Leaders’ Declaration, which South Africa participated in, has been prepared for adoption at the Major Economies Meeting (MEM) in Hokkaido.

Our objective is to ensure that the contribution of the MEM delivered results at the political, policy and technical levels, by building confidence and a deeper understanding among major economies.


Anti-Poverty Campaign

Government is committed to embark on an anti-poverty campaign to identify specific households and individuals in dire need, and put in place interventions that will help to alleviate their plight. Our Anti-Poverty Strategy in June is set to extend and expand the fight against abject poverty.

Through various intervention programmes, we have continued to wage war against poverty and eradicate abject poverty in millions of households

Our various grant systems now reach over 12 million people and our expenditure on social assistance will be R75,3 billion in 2009.

However, more work needs to be done to reach the neediest communities in our country who are affected by high levels of inequality.

Our structural economy still denies the poor majority access to infrastructure, assets, education and training to improve human capital. Previous settlement patterns also placed the poor far from economic opportunities.

Anti-poverty initiatives have been successfully mainstreamed into the planning and implementation of government programmes and in the budgeting process.

Much of government work is already aimed at addressing poverty and ensuring a better life for all. Although significant progress has been made in this regard, much still needs to be done

Certain groups in our society continue to be impoverished. These include women, particularly single parents and mostly those in remote areas of our country; children, the youth, the aged, and families where one or more members have disabilities.

Our society is showing growing inequality between the poor and rich members associated with race, gender and location.

With a more comprehensive anti-poverty strategy, we will target households who are in dire need and put in place immediate interventions that address and eliminate current poverty.

Our strategic focus includes a broadened scope to deal with a wider range of issues linked to poverty and social exclusion.

The Anti-Poverty Strategy, whose overall objective is to improve income and living conditions of the most disadvantaged, will ensure the eradication of poverty


Economic highlights

FIFA World Cup: Investment in Soweto

  • R69-million Dobsonville stadium facelift ahead of schedule: Dobsonville stadium in Soweto, earmarked for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is ahead of schedule and should be completed before the end of July 2008.

South Africa’s Berg River Dam

  • The R1,5-billion Berg River Dam is an international showcase of integrated planning, design and sustainability. The dam is internationally unique and the first in South Africa that is required to make both low and high flow ecological reserve releases.

PetroSA to invest R85 billion in mega oil refinery

  • Petro SA, South Africa's national oil company, is to construct a R85-billion crude oil refinery near Port Elizabeth that will produce 450 000 barrels of fuel per day. The refinery, called Project Mthombo, will be ready in 2015. As one of the biggest post-2010 investments, it will lower the country's import bill and significantly reduce South Africa's dependency on imported automotive fuels as demand increases.

World Bank upbeat on South Africa’s economy

  • The World Bank expects South Africa's economy to grow by a robust 4,2% this year, above official estimates and surpassing consensus forecasts for a sharp slowdown prompted by higher interest rates, power shortages and global risk aversion.