6 August 2010
- Threats of violence against foreign nationals in South Africa
- Women’s Day/ Month 2010
- State visit by President Jacob Zuma to the Russian Federation
- SADC Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government Republic of Namibia, Windhoek – 16 to 17 August 2010
Government has taken note of rumours of threats of violence against foreign nationals living in South Africa after the completion of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The key messages below clarify government’s position on the alleged threats and serve as a guide for government leaders and spokespersons when making public statements on the matter.
Government takes threats to security in a serious light, whether perceived or real
- Government is aware of and takes seriously rumours of violence against foreign nationals following the completion of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, the first hosted on African soil.
- Government has activated the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Xenophobia, chaired by the Minister of Police. The attention paid to this issue at the highest levels indicates the seriousness that government accords to the matter.
- Government is reviewing the development and implementation of its current immigration policy. This includes devising medium- and long-term plans to sustain peaceful co-existence between South Africans and foreign nationals in the country.
- Security forces are on the ground to ensure that peace and stability prevail across the country. These forces are on high alert and will not tolerate any form of violent behaviour by individuals or groups of people.
- Government calls upon South Africans to join hands with law-enforcement authorities in maintaining peace and stability in the country.
Criminals must not be allowed to tarnish the good name of South Africa
- Fundamentally, South Africans are welcoming, tolerant and peace-loving.
- However, as in all societies, there will be elements who will exploit any conditions to destabilise communities and commit crimes.
- Some of these elements are currently intimidating foreign nationals to commit common crimes.
- Government is taking measures to act against these elements who will face the full might of the law for any anti-social or criminal behaviour.
- We call on people to provide the police or community-based organisations with information about threats or incidents.
- We call on all South Africans and foreign nationals living in the country to join in all the efforts that are being made to build better and more cohesive communities.
We all have a responsibility to maintain peace and stability in the country
- The majority of visitors have singled out the humanity of South Africans for their warm and hospitable welcome as key contributors to the resounding success of the World Cup.
- To maintain the positive climate, government calls on all South Africans, individually and as members of organisations, to join hands with government, act in the country’s best interests and say “no” to xenophobia.
- South Africa, like most developing countries, has many socio-economic challenges, including poverty, joblessness, the spread of preventable infections and achieving good quality education. These challenges can only be addressed as we work together to improve our skills and quality of life.
Violence against those we perceive to be perpetrators of crime or of usurping scarce resources has never worked before and the only effect it can have this time is to negatively impact on the country’s reputation.
South Africa’s commemoration of August as Women’s Month is marked by Women’s Day (9 August), when in 1956 women from all races and walks of life marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in protest against oppressive laws. This year marks the 54th anniversary of the women’s anti-pass march and serves to remind South Africans about women’s rights. The commemoration of National Women’s Day takes place in the Eastern Cape, Buffalo City Municipality, in Amatole at the ABSA Stadium in East Londen under the theme Working Together for Equal Opportunities and Progress for all Women. Forward to the Decade of African Women.The year 2010 marks the commencement of the Decade of African Women (2010 – 2020) as declared by the heads of states of the African Union (AU).
Government recognises that the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment are central to all efforts aimed at combating poverty and stimulating sustainable development
- The dedicated Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities gives emphasis to government’s initiatives to protect and promote the interests of women and other targeted groups.
- Female representation in 2009 in Parliament as well as in provincial legislatures put South Africa among the leading countries in the world in terms of the number of women in important leadership positions.
- Government continues to pursue the advancement of education, including the elimination of gender disparities, to increase the participation of women and girls. Since 2000, there has been a steady increase in the number of graduating female Science, Engineering and Technology students.
- Good practices such as safety nets for abused women and children (victim empowerment shelters and Thuthuzela care centres) to protect women and children were established.
- Income support structures and programmes such as Women in Construction, South African Women in Mining and Energy and Women in Farming are among a number of economic empowerment programmes in place to enhance female development.
The advancement of women’s emancipation calls for a reflection on the attainment of regional and global milestones, which mature in 2010
- Commitments from the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (30 years since adoption by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly) and the Beijing Platform of Action (15 years since adoption) are being fulfilled in the form of adopted gender-sensitive laws and constitutional provisions.
- The need to address gender inequality was emphasised as an explicit goal on gender equality and the empowerment of women in the millennium development goals, thus providing another valuable opportunity for the advancement of CEDAW and the Beijing commitments.
- The launch of the African Decade of Women 2010 – 2020 provides an opportunity to leverage on global and regional political goodwill for the advancement of African women. The AU adopted the Africa Gender Policy in 2009, which guides the process of gender mainstreaming at regional and subregional levels, and makes provisions on technical support the AU can provide to member states for mainstreaming gender in their policies and programmes.
In accelerating our initiatives towards the realised emancipation of all women, there will be a conference report outlining the Plan of Action towards Beijing +20, a report on discussions around Bills in Parliament, the National Plan of Action on Women in Informal Cross-Border Trade and a report on women’s empowerment beyond the World Cup.
President Jacob Zuma will pay a state visit to the Russian Federation from 4 to 6 August 2010. This visit reciprocates the visit paid to South Africa by then President Vladimir Putin in September 2006 and serves to discuss multilateral issues of mutual interest within the context of strengthening the existing political, economic and trade relations between the two countries.
South Africa will strengthen its political, economic and trade relations with the Russian Federation to enhance North-South dialogue
- Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC), as rapidly developing countries and newly emerging economies, have organised themselves as a collective that advocates for the developmental agenda in the globalising world.
- South Africa already has very strong economic and political relationships with Brazil and India (through the IBSA Dialogue forum) and through its strategic partnership with China. India and Brazil have declared their intention to support South Africa becoming a member of BRIC.
- Africa's trade with BRIC grew from 4,6% of its total external trade in 1993 to just more than 19% last year, which produced a US$ 20,2 billion (R147 billion) trade surplus for Africa.
The Russian Federation remains a strategic partner in the reform of institutions of global governance
- Russia is a powerful player on the global political and economic stage. By virtue of its membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the Group of Eight (G8) most industrialised countries and Group of Twenty (G20), it holds political power in the multilateral forum.
- South Africa will in October 2010 seek to be re-elected to the non-permanent UNSC seat in 2011/12. It is envisaged that South Africa will seek Russia’s support for its re-election.
- Both countries support the promotion of equal distribution of power and influence in the global political and economic systems, with a shared belief in rules-based multilateralism; the primacy of the UN in global security matters; sustainable development; free and fair trade; and an equitable international economic order.
- South Africa seeks commitment from Russia to strengthen and broaden commercial relations, facilitate education and skills development partnerships, strengthen Russian partnership on the African Agenda, as well as cooperation on multilateral issues.
The political commitment on the part of the two countries has transformed into practical substance to work together in achieving development, socio-economic and political progress as well as stability in the globalizing world.
- Despite the global economic crisis, the Federal Customs Service in the Russian Federation indicated that overall trade between the two countries increased from US$ 484, 02 million in 2008 to US$ 517, 21 million in 2009.
- Existing and future areas of cooperation between South Africa and Russia include trade and investment, with emphasis on high value added products and high technology areas of cooperation; science and technology for development.
- South Africa and Russia jointly launched the South African satellite, Sumbandila SAT, at the Russian space facility in Kazakhstan in September 2009. This event marks a milestone of latest efforts by South Africa and Russia to strengthen cooperation in the field of space research and technologies.
SADC Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government, Republic of Namibia, Windhoek – 16 to 17 August 2010
South Africa remains committed to the consolidation of the African Agenda by supporting multilateral and bilateral cooperation:
- Strengthening continental institutions, which are critical in responding to the challenges of poverty and underdevelopment. South Africa supports, among other things, peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction and development (PCDR) in Africa.
- Continue to support initiatives to ensure peace and security on the continent within the context of the African Union Peace and Security Council of which it is a member from 2010 to 2012.
- South Africa will lobby for regional support for its bid to secure a non-permanent United Nations Security Council seat in 2011/12, during which it will solicit global support for the African Agenda.
- Strengthen cooperation with the region and the continent through regular bilateral discussions. To give expression to its commitment to the African Agenda, South Africa has prioritised the opening of a mission in each country on the continent.
The SADC remains the most important vehicle that addresses our common concerns in the southern African region
- SADC countries must respond timeously to the challenges faced by the region. These include food, water and energy security, HIV and Aids and education.
- SADC countries have the opportunity to place the Southern African region on a growth path that will benefit all citizens of the region. Preliminary research has already shown that SADC countries benefitted from tourism during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- SADC leaders should take bold decisions and commit to the long term economic development of the region with a view to addressing the socio-economic challenges which have to be addressed, including poverty eradication.
African countries need to strengthen their economic integration and coordinating mechanism through the regional economic communities (RECs)
- The long-term vision of a united continent can only be achieved when all countries of the continent have achieved significant economic and social progress.
- New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) projects, which will assist in the achievement of socio-economic progress for all RECs, must be successfully implemented. SADC heads of state and government must deliberate on the outcomes of the recently concluded Nepad high-level meeting in Uganda to operationalise programmes to uplift the SADC region.
- SADC countries should take advantage of the shifts in global economy and new opportunities emanating from regional integration.
- The legacy of the FIFA World Cup for Africa will be opportunities to attract international investment and tourism. The environment has been created for sustainable economic growth and development on the continent.
South Africa supports the achievement of the millennium development goals (MDGs) by all developing countries with a view to ensuring a better world for all who live in it
- South Africa will seek to build continental consensus on the achievement of the MDGs with a view to presenting a common position at the MDG Review Summit. South Africa has reaffirmed its political commitments to the achievement of the MDG of Education for All, by the recent hosting of the “One Goal Education Summit” and encourages leaders of the continent to support this initiative.
- South Africa has successfully achieved the goal of providing access to water and is on target to achieve the MDG of access to potable water by 2014.
- SADC countries will continue discussions on mother and child mortality from the recently concluded African Union Summit and deliberate on how to ensure this MDG is achieved by 2015.
- Our comprehensive national health programme will ensure that there is universal access and expanded treatment and successful response to HIV and AIDS and other programmes dealing with tuberculosis, national immunisation and vaccination.
President Zuma’s state visit to Russia
President Jacob Zuma’s state visit to Russia yielded a suite of positive outcomes, which included signing a trade deal to increase trade and investment while lowering obstacles to bilateral economic cooperation and enhance South Africa’s use of Russian technology to accelerate its mineral resource beneficiation. Russia also committed to strengthen ties with South Africa in fields such as nuclear energy.
Employment in South Africa’s new vehicle manufacturing industry on the rise
According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa’s 2010 second-quarter review, the number of people employed by the industry – comprising the major new vehicle manufacturers and specialist commercial vehicle and bus manufacturers – had increased by 1 623, or by 5,4%, at the end of June compared with the end of 2009.The number of people employed in the industry now numbers 31 784.
The association added that the forecast was for the local industry to have a combined capital expenditure programme of R4,6 billion in 2010, compared with R2,46 billion in 2009 and R3,28 billion in 2008.
World Cup's boost for gross domestic product higher than expected
Government estimates that the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ added a percentage more to the country's growth, when spending on stadiums and infrastructure is taken into account. According to the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, the tournament boosted South Africa's standing internationally, showcasing its capabilities in delivering world-class infrastructure on time and without imposing a financial burden on the national fiscus.
92% of World Cup visitors recommend South Africa
A recent survey by African Response found that 96% of World Cup visitors to South Africa said that they would possibly return to the country, while 92% would recommend the country to friends and family as a holiday destination.
KPMG senior economist Frank Blackmore has confirmed that the hosting of the 2010 World Cup, which has pumped an estimated R93 billion into the local economy, has rebranded South Africa and created a favourable climate for direct foreign investment and tourism growth.
Unique concept to preserve World Cup
The legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ is being established across Africa through a unique concept called Youth Zones – a joint initiative by the Foundation for Safe South Africa, the Organising Committee, Embassy of the Netherlands and Idasa to transform the excitement of the World Cup into a sustainable commitment to social development in the African continent. In South Africa, the programme is being operated in 13 disadvantaged communities. At each of the 13 youth zones there are three main projects: Football, Computer Literacy and Life Skills.
AIDS gel discovery in South Africa
South African researchers have discovered a gel containing the AIDS drug tenofovir, which is said to reduce HIV infections in women. A classic medical clinical study conducted over two- and a half years showed a 39% lower incidence of HIV in the tenofovir group. In addition, the gel reduced the risk of a woman getting genital herpes by 51%.
New Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations now in effect in South Africa
South Africa's new EIA regulations have come into effect. The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) announced the implementation process of a new regime aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of EIAs.
CO² emissions tax
This will be charged on sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles with effect from 1 September, as a means to achieve the Government's stated environmental objectives.