12 October 2011
- Fifth summit of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) dialogue
- Deputy President's working visits to the Nordic countries
Fifth summit of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) dialogue
As chairperson of the IBSA Dialogue Forum, President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to host the fifth IBSA Summit Head of State and Government Summit from 17 to 19 October 2011.
IBSA was established on 6 June 2003. According to the Brasília Declaration, priority is given to social inclusion and equality, the promotion of food security, health, social assistance, employment, education, human rights and environmental sustainability. IBSA was formed out of a vision to counteract the economic and political dominance of countries of the North on a global level.
The realisation of a trilateral alliance between India, Brazil and South Africa stems from three commonalities between the countries, namely: all three are vibrant democracies; they share common views on various global issues; and they are substantial emerging economies within their subregions.
The engagement processes of IBSA countries take place on three levels, namely: Heads of State and Government level, where joint positions on global political and multilateral issues are coordinated and articulated. It usually sets the agenda for further deliberations. The joint positions by the IBSA Heads of State and Government are pertinent issues affecting developing countries, such as reform of global governance institutions; the Doha Round and World Trade Organisation issues; hunger and poverty eradication; and the millennium development goals (MDGs).
Trilateral Government-to-Government level: this takes shape through sectoral cooperation within working groups focusing on specific needs. There are 16 sectoral working groups on the Government-to-Government level, namely:
(1) Trade and Investment, (2) Information Society, (3) Science and Technology, (4) Transport, (5) Energy, (6) Health, (7) Tourism, (8) Agriculture, (9) Education, (10) Cultural Cooperation, (11) Defence, (12) Social Development, (13) Public Administration, (14) Revenue Administration, (15) Climate Change/ Environment and (16) Human Settlements.
The uniqueness of IBSA is that it also includes a third level: People-to-People cooperation on a non-government level.This plays an important role in enhancing the visibility of the IBSA Dialogue Forum among the peoples of the three countries. This forum caters specifically for non-government actors and has attracted wide interest. The fifth IBSA Dialogue Forum is also being strategically positioned as leading to the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol (COP17/CMP7). South Africa has contributed to and is part of the African Common Position in preparation for the planned negotiations of COP17/CMP7.
|The IBSA Summit provides an influential mechanism for strengthening and fostering South-South cooperation and advancing the interests of the South.||
|The IBSA provides a vehicle to revolutionise South-South trading patterns.||
|The forum promotes joint positions on global issues to influence international discourse on key development issues affecting the South and developing countries.||
|South Africa will use its global standing to increase strategic cooperation among emerging market economies of the South to support the African Agenda.||
Deputy President's working visits to the Nordic countries
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is scheduled to undertake a tri-nation working visit to the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden and Denmark) from 18 to 24 October 2011.
|Nordic countries are strategic partners and this visit will consolidate and strengthen existing relations.||
|Nordic countries have helped South Africa advance the African Agenda.||
|Trade relations with Finland have room for further growth in South Africa's favour.||
|Denmark is an important partner in promoting reform of the UN.||
|Sweden and South Africa have a common vision towards climate change.||
Science and Technology
South Africa targets new satellites
South Africa is planning to build its third satellite, which is part of a new African satellite constellation. These will fast-track government’s drive to grow the country's share of the global market for small - to medium-sized space systems. The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, said government’s intention was to expand its investment in “micro” satellites, building on the existing SumbandilaSat platform.
Economic sectors and employment
Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) remains vital to business success
South African private business owners still regard BEE as vitally important to business success, with 64% believing it is an important factor in winning new business. This figure has remained relatively constant throughout the years, with 61% affirming this view in 2010 and 63% in 2009.
Labour and business partner on jobs front
Organised labour and business in the Western Cape have joined hands to tackle the poverty crisis by trying to create jobs in as little as two months. The Cape Chamber of Commerce and the Congress of South African Trade Unions in the Western Cape have signed a declaration at a jobs summit. They agreed that high levels of poverty and unemployment presented a crisis, and undertook to promote sound labour practices, create decent work and fight corruption.
South Africa, Turkey cement bilateral ties
South Africa is to work with Turkey to review the high tariffs that the European country charges for goods imported from there. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan met to explore ways of improving economic relations between the two emerging economies.
Home Affairs success good news for all
The Department of Home Affairs has tabled its Annual Report for the financial year 2010/11 in Parliament where Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma announced that her department had achieved its first unqualified audit in 16 years. The department’s turnaround was widely seen as a creditable illustration of government making good on its quest for clean administration and better service delivery to citizens.
Plans to train social workers
The Department of Social Development has set aside R256 million for a scholarship programme to train more social workers. Government is also planning to reach out to retired social workers for their input in training youth in the field of social work. The department also aims to improve remuneration for social professionals to keep them in the country.
Moving towards a technologically advanced justice system
The Department of Justice has introduced a system that will prevent meddling with case files and a backlog of trials. While it previously took hours or days to send documents from one point to another, the system will enable the process to be done in seconds via e-mail, enabling busy judges to access court documents from anywhere.
South African Judge elected to International Tribunal
South African Judge Albert J Hoffmann was elected as Vice-President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) for the period 2011 to 2014. ITLOS is an intergovernmental organisation established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Government to reward hard working matriculants
The Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty, says matriculants who perform well in the upcoming exams, will be rewarded with wonderful bursary opportunities. He said government had wonderful opportunities for learners who would work hard and succeed. Government has set more than a billion rand aside for scholarships.
World Health Organisation (WHO) reports a decline in tuberculosis (TB)
The WHO reports for the first time that the number of people falling ill with TB each year is declining. New data, published in the WHO 2011 Global Tuberculosis Control Report, also show that the number of people dying from the disease fell to its lowest level in a decade.