Bua Briefs 133

3 December 2008

World Economic Forum (WEF), Annual Meeting, Davos-Klosters, Switzerland

Heads of State and Government, including prominent international business leaders from around the world, will gather in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, for the annual meeting of the WEF from 28 January to 10 February 2009.  The theme and structure of the meeting will be focused on “Shaping the Post Crisis World”.

The WEF is an independent international organisation committed to improving the state of the world. The meeting of the forum, and South Africa’s participation there, provides an opportunity to profile regional and continental economic agendas

The WEF engages world political and business leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

The WEF meeting is a prestigious and important event that addresses the most pressing issues affecting the world. South Africa as a key role-player in the global governance landscape remains critical.

The launch of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Free Trade Area is a major driver for development and deeper regional integration within the region.

South Africa is committed to regional market integration that is developmental.

South Africa's finances are in order, our banks are sound, our investment plans are in place, and we will ride out this storm

Our economy has grown in real terms by 58,53% since 1994 and is in its longest growth phase in recorded history. We have a sound economic framework that is flexible enough to ensure low inflation and economic growth.

Although our fiscal stance is capable of withstanding tough times and protecting our economy, the present economic down-turn is bound to impact on our people.

We will focus spending on our public infrastructure commitments, including the expansion of energy-production capability, to ensure readiness for the 2010 World Cup.

Although slower than anticipated, our investment in 2010 projects will catalyse a developmental and growth legacy, which will help to tackle endemic development and poverty challenges.

Our country remains a key role-player in the fast-changing global governance landscape in the developing world.


Cholera outbreak

Zimbabwe has been experiencing an outbreak of cholera since mid-October 2008. The weakened health system in Zimbabwe and the extent of the cross- border movement of people requires a collective intervention by various stakeholders.

South Africa is actively engaging with all relevant stakeholders to address the outbreak and its consequences

National and provincial outbreak response teams were deployed in Musina on 17 November 2008 to respond to the outbreak.

A National Multi-Sectoral Committee consisting of the departments of health, water affairs and forestry, provincial and local government and organisations such as the World Health Organisation, South African Military Health Service United Nations Children's Fund, International Organisation for Migration, Médecins Sans Frontières, Centre for Disease Control, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Save the Children (United Kingdom) was convened.

Three treatment tents were set up and adequately staffed and stocked to deal with the outbreak in Musina. Additional supplies and health practitioners were also obtained.

Water monitoring was done at strategic points in the Limpopo River and at the sewerage treatment plant.

The South African health system is adequately resourced and well capacitated to respond to the health challenge presented by the outbreak

The Department of Health is increasing the capacity of healthcare workers, including doctors to deal with the large volume of patients in Limpopo.

A comprehensive strategy is in place and the implementation thereof is monitored by the National Outbreak Response Team (NORT) on a weekly basis.

The Joint Operations Committee (JOC) from the health sector meets twice daily to update NORT and processes are underway to establish JOCs in all provinces.

Public promotion activities at community level focusing on acute diarrhoeal diseases and cholera have been intensified.

We urge all who are travelling from the Beit Bridge areas to take basic prevention measures to reduce the risk of contracting the disease

Wash hands thoroughly with soap after using the toilet and before preparing or eating food.

Ensure a safe water supply by boiling or chlorinating domestic water using household bleach (one teaspoon to 20-25 litres of water).

Wash vegetables and fruit in treated water before use.

Discourage the habit of several people eating simultaneously from a communal food container.

Prevent contamination of food by contact with other contaminated raw food, surfaces or flies.

South Africa as member of the SADC is concerned and will work together with all authorities to ensure a safe environment for all. By treating those with symptoms of communicable diseases, we will protect everyone in the community.


Economic highlights


Airbus is to invest in local research and technology projects using South Africa’s unique record for innovative research. The company is helping South African students to attend European universities and allowing them to work as interns at its headquarters in France.


R64 million will be used to promote and boost business tourism in Johannesburg, South Africa.