Media release

International Cooperation, Trade and Security (ICTS) Cluster

06 March 2023

This statement aims to outline the details of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2023 State of the Nation Address (SoNA) as it relates to the programmes and work of the ICTS Cluster.
The ICTS Cluster is responsible for Priority 7 of the Medium-term Strategic Framework 2019-2024, A Better Africa and World. We are outlining current and forthcoming actions that will demonstrate, as the President pronounced, that we are a nation of hope and resilience.

The United Nations (UN) Charter enjoins member states to settle their disputes peacefully first, explicitly stating that parties to any dispute should first seek a solution through negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration and similar mechanisms. The response of South Africa to conflict is one of seeking peaceful outcomes, of which peace in the continent is a key focus area.

A better Africa depends on achieving lasting peace and prosperity. South Africa has played a peace keeping role in the DRC for the past ten years under the auspices of the African Union. Just over a month ago, we lost Flight Sergeant Vusi Mabena when his helicopter came under attack in the Eastern DRC. We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. 

South Africa is honoured to have been the host for the talks between the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in November last year (2022). We further welcome the successful negotiation and signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement. This Agreement signals a commitment to ending the use of force to settle differences and disputes and confirms the correctness of South Africa’s principled position that political differences are best resolved through meaningful dialogue and diplomacy.

Our country is committed to advancing the human rights and fundamental freedoms not only of our own people, but also for the peoples of Palestine, Western Sahara, Afghanistan, Syria and other African and global communities.  

Government notes the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF’s) decision to list South Africa as a “jurisdiction under increased monitoring”, or more commonly referred to as FATF’s “grey list”. Cabinet has considered the Action Plan and committed to actively work with the FATF to swiftly and effectively address all outstanding deficiencies. 
South Africa expresses its deepest condolences to the government and people of Türkiye and Syria following the devastating earthquake that took thousands of lives and destroyed infrastructure. We are one of the countries that sent teams to assist with search-and-rescue operations. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s (DIRCO) Humanitarian Fund will be dispatching additional support worth R5 million to both countries.
Our work in the ICTS Cluster focuses on the following core areas:
●    Multilateralism
●    Promoting peace and security
●    Prosperity and development
●    Intra-Africa trade

South Africa continues to advocate for a strong multilateral system under the UN while participating in the African Union (AU), Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) and Group of Twenty (G20). As a country, we remain committed to forging bilateral and multilateral relations with countries that share the same developmental objectives.

South Africa became Chair of BRICS on 1 January 2023 under the theme: “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development, and Inclusive Multilateralism”. We intend to keep the partnership focused on providing leadership and momentum towards global growth, sustainable development and inclusion of the global South in the world system.

Promoting Peace and Security
South Africa continues to support efforts to promote peace using multilateral and other diplomatic solutions to support the peaceful resolutions of conflicts. A case in point is South Africa’s support to the reforms aimed at improving the political situation in Lesotho. 
Several member states of SADC, including South Africa have agreed to be part of a SADC mission in Mozambique. The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been deployed to support the Republic of Mozambique to combat acts of terrorism and violent extremists that affected areas in the Cabo Delgado Province. 

Prosperity and Development
As we deal with the immediate conflicts, growth and development should remain uppermost on the agenda. In the SADC region, South Africa should prioritise the implementation of the current SADC development plans, complemented by renewed bilateral agreements focused on advancing shared growth. 
There is increased responsibility on all countries to contribute their best effort to implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Our country is fully committed to contributing its part.

However developing countries throughout the globe will require considerable financial contributions if they are to achieve their NDCs and build climate resilience. The UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement requires developed countries to contribute to transitions in developing countries.

Just Energy Transition Partnership has finalised the JET investment plan. The Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET-IP) for the five-year period 2023-2027 sets out the scale of need and investments required to achieve the decarbonisation commitments made in our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
This year government received the first tranche of the $8.5 billion offer from the JET partnership from Germany and France. This money has been transferred to National treasury.

We must therefore continue our just transition to low carbon forms of energy generation and production at a pace our country can afford and in a manner that assists us in ensuring energy security and opens up the possibility of new investments, new industrialisation and above all creates new jobs. Our just transition must prioritise workers and communities in vulnerable industries and ensure no one is left behind.

Cabinet has adopted a Just Transition Framework developed through our Presidential Climate Commission. The Just Transition Framework informs the basis for our long-term climate action and affirms South Africa’s net zero decarbonization goal. It is firmly set in the context of our sustainable development challenges.

The twenty-eighth Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be a significant moment where the first Global Stocktake will take place to provide an assessment of collective progress towards meeting global climate goals. For the African continent, unlocking finance, technology and capacity building support will be of utmost importance. In this regard we look forward to attending the African Climate Conference to be hosted by Kenya in September this year.

Intra-Africa Trade
The Southern African Custom Union’s (SACU) consolidated 90% tariff offer under the AfCFTA was approved by the SACU Trade Ministers on 11 February 2023 and announced to the 11th AfCFTA Council of Ministers of Trade that took place in Gaborone, Botswana from 11-12 February 2023.

Once verified as being compliant with the agreed tariff modalities and approved by the Council of Ministers for provisional implementation, South Africa and other SACU members will be able to trade preferentially with other AfCFTA State Parties that have approved tariff offers. 
In June 2022, South Africa and India, with the support of many other countries, succeeded in driving a decision in the World Trade Organisation that would temporarily waive the patent protection on production and supply of Covid-19 vaccines. Work is underway to expand the coverage of the waiver to cover diagnostics and therapeutics. 

Tourist arrivals: International tourist arrivals to South Africa continued to recover in 2022. Cumulative arrivals for the January to December 2022 period increased by 152.6% to reach 5.7 million of international arrivals over the same period in 2021. South Africa recorded 10.2 million international arrivals over the same period in 2019.

People to People Exchange Mechanism (PPEM): Hosted in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy to South Africa, the 3rd South Africa-China High-Level PPEM was aimed at deepening mutual understanding between South Africa and China, and to enhance people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in the areas of culture, education, international relations, communication, health, science and technology, sport, tourism, women affairs and youth. 

Strengthening the Creative Economy: South Africa is strengthening the mandate to develop a partnership towards an equitable Just Transition in the arts given the requisite need for transition with regard to significant changes to our economies.

The transition from hard copy production of music, to digital platforms is more urgent than ever. It is critical that we start the process of creating Africa’s digital platform so that our participation in international multilateral agreements should protect the IP of our creatives and ensure such protections are guaranteed in Just Transition in multilateral and bilateral creative economy agreements.

The recent meeting with the CEO and President of the GRAMMY Awards Recording Academy, through which the entire value chain of the creative and cultural economy in South Africa and the African continent will be developed and supported. The project will be customised to unlock opportunities through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement where sustainable partnership between BRICS and Africa for mutually beneficial opportunities towards increased trade, investment and infrastructure development under the AfCFTA are realised. 

Research based evidence of implemented multilateralism

Government has demonstrated a research based evidence with regards to trade in arts and culture products:

  •  The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA); EU28 (including UK) and SADC were South Africa’s three most important regional trading partners for cultural goods exports in 2019. 

Monetisation of the CCI Industry: Revival of a hardest-hit sector

Design: the following designers debuted at the Emerging Creatives Platform. The EC Programme is done by the DSAC in partnership with the International Design Indaba. The Emerging Creative programme has natured over five hundred designers in all the different design disciplines. We kick started the careers of the following designers amongst others: 

  • Laduma Ngxokolo–AKA Maxhosa who exhibited at the EC Programme in 2013. Amongst others he was named as the one of Vogue’s top ten designers in Africa, he exports all over the world.
  • Thebe Magugu: He exhibited in the EC programme in 2016. Thebe’s knack of retelling the stories of his hometown and South Africa’s history made him the first African to win the prestigious Louis Vuitton prize in 2019 and the British Fashion Council’s international showcase for curation and fashion content amongst others. He is the first South African to showcase at Paris Fashion week in 2019. His clothes are worn by celebrities all over the world.
  • Rich Mnisi: He exhibited in the EC Programme in 2015, he was named as Vogue’s top ten designers in Africa. He exports his work all over the world with the likes of Naomi Campbell and Beyonce wearing his signature bold garments that fuse contemporary pop culture and traditional African heritage.
  • Cathrine Pitchulik: She is an accessories designer who exhibited at the EC in the Emerging Creatives Programme in 2013. Her quintessential jewelry is stocked in boutique jewelries all over the world. Pitchulik has been growing not only in reach, her clients includes Solange Knowles, Meghan Markle and her accessories range is also stocked on the shelves of Bloomingdale in New York, Anthropologie in the US Museum for Modern Arts (MOMA) in New York. Catherine was named accessory designer of the year by African fashion international  2014 and A South African Gazzelle top 40 SMME designer
  • Siyanda Mbele – Siyanda exhibited at the Emerging Creatives in 2015. He makes furniture that has been featured worldwide and at prestigious exhibitions both locally and internationally.

Others include Gugu Phetheni from the Eastern Cape, Illustrator Daniel Ting Chong, Ceramist Andile Dyalvane, Lukhanyo Mdingi from Western Cape.  
Since its inception, many designers have gone through our support system and made it to international markets. 
Igoda Fashion incubator: They have been contracted by Edgars Stores, have presence in Gauteng: Sandton; Mall of Africa and Menlyn. In KZN: Pavilion Mall and Gateway Mall. In November 2022, they opened a new store in Canal Walk.   
The Creative sector is making a steady recovery to pre-COVID19 period. It is a very resilient sector of our economy especially the following domains as demonstrated by the following statistics: 
As found in previous mapping studies, the largest domains in terms of contribution to GDP are Design and Creative Services (R51 billion in 2020, 32% of the contribution to GDP), and Audio-Visual and Interactive Media (R48.4 billion in 2020, 30% of the contribution to GDP). The dominance of these domains is expected, since they involve the commercial application of cultural and creative content, such as in film and television, video games, fashion design, architecture and advertising.

The next largest domain is Visual Arts and Crafts (R23.4 billion in 2020, 15% of the contribution to GDP), and Books and Press (R21.5 billion in 2020, 13% of the contribution to GDP). These are followed by the smaller domains of Performance and Celebration     (6%) and Cultural and Natural Heritage (4%).

Monetisation of the Sport Industry (Sustaining the business of Sport) 
This endeavour is intended to grow the business of Sport through the following outcomes:

  • Procurement Spend of Equipment and Attire by all spheres of Government and Sports Federations. The Department has a transversal Tender for procurement of Sports attire and equipment for the 16 priority Codes of Sport at a cost of approximately R300 million. Sports Federations also procure various services that contribute to the business of Sport 
  • In the long term, the intention is to work with other Trade and Economic Departments and agencies to create local manufacturing capability for sport goods for long term production.
  • Promote the sale of South African manufactured sport products.

Consolidation of multilateralism in sport arts and culture

The South African Government, through the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, is delighted to host various major international sporting events in 2023. South Africa hosted the Women’s T20 World Cup in Cape Town, which culminated in the finals on Sunday, 26 February. In the finals, though the Proteas ladies fell short by 19 runs, they made history with a silver medal finish. 
South Africa will also host the Netball World Cup 2023 that will take place at the Cape Town International Conference Centre, from 17 July to 8 August 2023. The hosting of major international sporting events is part of South Africa’s economic recovery strategy with the focus on the lasting legacy that these events leave behind to benefit the country.

Five international events are organised in South Africa in 2023: 

  • Netball World Cup, July/August 2023 (R90m over MTEF starting in 2020)
  • ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 
  • Formula E, CT, February 2023/24/25/26/27
  • World Table Tennis Championships, Durban, May 2023
  • World Masters Rowing Regatta, Roodeplaat, September 2023

Economic revival through infrastructure development

In 2022/23 the Department of Sports Arts and Culture has ensured allocation of R252 million through a ring-fenced Municipal Infrastructure Grant for construction and upgrading of local sport facilities. 27 municipalities are allocated in this financial year.
An additional R5 million will be spent on installation of 10 outdoor gyms and children play parks which will also create 50 temporary jobs in local communities.
In the 2022/23 financial year, 29 new library facilities and 40 existing library infrastructure are earmarked to be financially supported at an estimated budget of R310 million.


In his 2023 SoNA, President Ramaphosa said: “The people of South Africa want action, they want solutions and they want government to work for them.” We believe that our interventions outlined in this briefing respond to the President’s marching orders and the expectations of the nation.
The ICTS Cluster is determined to leave no stone unturned in achieving its objectives, which will give South Africans hope and confidence in a better future. We anticipate that 2023 will be a better year than 2022.

Ms. Masechaba Khumalo
Cell: 082 858 4415 

Mr. Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2871

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