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					EPD 18 JUNE 2009                              PAGE: 1 of 91

                       THURSDAY, 18 JUNE 2009

                                ____



   PROCEEDINGS OF EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE – COMMITTEE ROOM E249

                                ____



Members of the Extended Public Committee met in Committee Room E249

at 14:01.



House Chairperson Mr M B Skosana, as Chairperson, took the Chair and

requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or

meditation.



                         APPROPRIATION BILL



Debate on Vote No 3 – Foreign Affairs:



The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION:

Chairperson, members of the National Assembly, hon members of the

Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Co-operation and

the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations, members

of the diplomatic corps, Acting UN Resident Representative, Dr

Stella Anyangwe, comrades and friends, distinguished guests, ladies

and gentlemen and fellow South Africans, in his state of the nation

address, President Zuma identified the priorities of our government.
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In that context, our President also articulated a vision of South

Africa’s role, taking cognisance of the fact that working together

with the rest of the world we can do more to bring about global

peace and prosperity. Our mandate as the Department of International

Relations and Co-operation is to contribute to the realisation of

this agenda.



I table this Budget Vote two days after the 33rd anniversary of June

16, 1976. Its heroes and heroines were inspired, amongst other

things, by the vision of the Freedom Charter, whose 54th anniversary

we will celebrate next week. This was motivated by what the Freedom

Charter declared: “There shall be peace and friendship!” Thus, the

presentation I make before you today is an attempt to contribute

towards the realisation of this vision of the Freedom Charter.



Today we present the budget of the Department of International

Relations and Co-operation. This important decision of our

government to change the name of the department speaks of the need

for us to focus on partnerships and sustainable relations that will

advance the interests of our country, contribute to the developmen t

of Africa and make the world a better place.



We have made a commitment that this will also be manifested soon

through the creation of the SA Development Partnership Agency,

SADPA. Work has started towards the realisation of this goal. We
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want the creation of this agency to take our work on development co-

operation to greater heights in terms of its focus and its depth.



It is our firm conviction that South Africa’s destiny is

inextricably linked to our mother continent, and that working

together with the sister people of the continent we will contribute

towards a better Africa and a better world. Thus, as we begin this

term of our government, we are called upon to redouble our efforts

to seek peace, security and development for Africa. We believe that

these are interlinked as we cannot hope for development without

peace and security.



Ke ka gobane lešako la hloka thobela ke mojano. Ebile ntlo ya lerole

ga e tswale kgoši. [This is because people take advantage if there

is no established authority. And people don’t think highly of people

who fight all the time, or those who don’t work together.]



We therefore wish to take this opportunity to stress the following

pillars for our engagement with Africa.



The first is the strengthening of our regional integration. From the

experience of other regions of the world, we have witnessed the

benefits that come from strong regional integration where successful

regional integration has been closely associated with peace and

development, amongst other things. We seek the same for our beloved

mother continent.
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It is therefore imperative that we focus on the development and

strengthening of SADC and the AU. Regional economic communities such

as SADC are also key pillars for the broader continental

integration. The AU cannot be strong if Africa’s regional economic

communities are weak. It is this perspective that forces us to work

for greater cohesion and a stronger economic integration in our

region. We have made advances in this regard, as evident from the

launch of the SADC Free Trade Area in South Africa last year.



Of course, we know that the path to get into a fuller integration is

not going to be smooth and easy. The challenge we are confronted

with at the moment is the Economic Partnership Agreements, EPAs,

that some of our regional members have signed with the European

Union. We will continue to engage with EU countries together with

countries in our region to see if we cannot focus on forging

stronger economic integration rather than dividing ourselves through

these EPAs.



We shall, on the other hand, continue to work with the people of

Zimbabwe on the full implementation of the Global Political

Agreement. We pledge to step up efforts to promote bilateral co -

operation between our two countries. We also call upon the

international community to lift sanctions and fully engage the

government of Zimbabwe and help respond to the calls for help from

the people of Zimbabwe to rebuild their country.
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As SADC, we are also seized with the situation and challenges faced

by our sister country, Madagascar. Tomorrow South Africa, together

with the SADC Organ, will host the Troika, which is made up of

Swaziland, Mozambique and Angola. This will be followed by an

extraordinary summit on 20 June 2009, specifically to focus on how

to restore durable peace in Madagascar.



At a continental level, we will continue to be fully engaged in the

strengthening of the AU. We are prioritising our contribution to the

important discussion on the question of the union government. Thi s

debate is drawn from the long-standing vision of some of our

forebearers like Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere and others, who

wished to see a deeper unity on our continent. These forebears

believed that the strength of Africa lay in our unity.



Tau tša hloka seboka di šitwa ke nare e hlotša. [We cannot achieve

anything if we are divided.] It therefore behoves our generation to

continue on the path of our forebears to work together to fight the

scourge of poverty and underdevelopment on our continent.



We will also seek to enhance the work we have started in bringing

closer alignment between SADC, the Common Market for Eastern and

Southern Africa, Comesa, and the East African Community, EAC.



The stabilisation of our continent needs to be anchored in visible

programmes of socioeconomic development. In this regard, we
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recognise that Nepad remains a key mechanism for the achievement of

this socioeconomic development. Nepad programmes on infrastructure

and food security, amongst other things, remain a priority for South

Africa and African countries. Therefore, it is for this reason that

we believe the implementation of Nepad programmes at all levels

needs to be enhanced.



The second pillar for our African Agenda is to support peace,

security, stability and postconflict reconstruction initiatives. We

know from our own experience that the achievement of peace and

stability can be a painstaking effort requiring patience and

perseverance. However, we also know the dividends that come with

peace. It is this understanding that has informed our co-operation

with the sister countries of DRC, Burundi, Sudan, Comoros, Zimbabwe,

Cote d’Ivoire and many others, as they seek to bring peace to their

own countries. The peace dividend that all these countries seek is

economic growth and development. We are enjoined to play our role in

continuing with this important work.



South African men and women continue to serve in peacekeeping

missions in various parts of our continent. We are proud of the role

these patriots play. Thus we need to ensure that operations of the

SADC Brigade, the strengthening of the regional peacekeeping

training centre in Harare and the launch of the regional early

warning centre in Gaborone also receive our focus.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 7 of 91


The third pillar of our continental strategy is the strengthening of

bilateral political and socioeconomic relations with countries on

our continent. We enjoy strong bilateral relations with all the

countries of the African continent. Through these partnerships, we

wish to foster stronger political relations, people-to-people

solidarity, trade, investments and tourism as we integrate our

people. The department is doing an audit of these partnerships in

order to identify ways in which we can strengthen them, focusing

particularly on interventions necessary to promote intra-African

trade in mutually beneficial and sustainable ways.



The evolution of our international relations policy has ushered in

an era of trilateral co-operation, whose practical expression is

also found in the developmental projects that South Africa is

undertaking in various countries. We have several projects we are

undertaking in third countries like Guinea-Conakry and Vietnam.

These are very noble projects. We have the project of rice

production for the population of Guinea-Conakry, and many others,

that we are doing with India-Brazil-South Africa, IBSA, on other

parts of the continent, including the Cuban Medical Brigade in Mali.



Of significance in 2009 is that South Africa and Nigeria will

celebrate 10 years of our diplomatic relations. This is an important

opportunity for us to evaluate the road travelled so far and seek

together how we continue to strengthen these very important

relations.
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There can be no lasting peace on the African continent as long as

the people of Western Sahara continue to suffer and live in

conditions of occupation. We are convinced that urgent steps should

be taken to cease colonisation in this sister country in line with

UN processes.



As we seek more co-operation and the integration of our continent,

we are convinced that Africa cannot only be defined by geography,

but that we should also come together around a set of values that

define our humanity. For this reason, the promotion of democracy,

the respect for human rights and the improvement of governance are

vital for our success as a continent. Indeed, we see progress being

registered in all these areas throughout the continent.



In our own region, South Africa and Malawi have just concluded very

successful democratic elections. These values are also supported by

the principles of the AU, such as the continued rejection of

unconstitutional changes of power. In this regard, another important

structure on which we should focus is the African Peer Review

Mechanism, APRM. We will continue to popularise these progressive

values to enhance the wellbeing of our continent.



During his address, the President of the country reiterated a need

to work together with countries of the South, emphasising the

importance of South-South co-operation. Our commitment to South-

South co-operation is not only driven by our need to pursue stronger
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political relations with countries of the South, but by also

focusing these relations towards advancing our domestic priorities.



This is about expanding the horizons of opportunities for our

country. As we do this, we are also aware that there is growing

recognition that emerging economies of the South will be key

catalysts of global growth as we emerge from the current financial

and economic crisis. We have to seek out and grasp opportunities

that these countries of the South offer to our country.



We will be strengthening and consolidating our relations with the

countries of IBSA. In October 2009, we will participate in the 4th

IBSA Summit in Brazil. We will be working towards the implementation

of the 20 bilateral agreements already signed in this trilateral

initiative. Through IBSA, we plan to further increase the levels of

trade to the target of US$25 billion by the year 2015 and to

finalise modalities for IBSA outreach to other third countries.



We also have very special relationships with the countries of IBSA,

in particular India and Brazil. With India we share strong

historical ties, spanning through every stage of the evolution of

the modern South Africa through the 20th century. Ours has been a

relationship steeped in politics and struggle – satyagraha and

ahimsa.
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That is why we wish to congratulate the people of India for the

manner in which they conducted their recently concluded elections,

thereby once again confirming and entrenching the place of India as

the largest democracy on earth. We owe it to our forebears to

continue to enhance these very important relations. India also

continues to work with us as we strive to train our youth for the

challenges we have in skilling our youth for modern economy. We once

again want to say to India, “Dhanyawaad”. [“Thank you”.]



Bilateral trade with Brazil, on the other hand, is also on the

increase. Of course we are quite aware of the structural imbalances

in the current trade with Brazil. It is tilting very much in their

favour and it is for us to sit back and see how we correct this. But

Brazil, on the other hand, has the largest concentration of Africans

second only to Nigeria. It is a logical partner of our continent. We

are encouraged by the increasing realisation of this fact by

government and the people of Brazil.



Beyond IBSA, we are broadening our political and economic relations

with countries of the South in general - Asia, Middle East and Latin

America. It is from these expanding relations that South Africa

seeks also to leverage support for our domestic priorities. For us

to emerge out of these challenges of the global economic meltdown,

we think we should look to south. Already some of the bigger

investments in South Africa come from countries of the South.
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We have also formed structured, bilateral relations using joint

commissions with these countries, particularly Asia, the Middle East

and Latin America. The countries of the Middle East in particular,

in spite of the global economic crisis, continue to be a source of

foreign direct investments, FDI, which we can access by leveraging

huge resources in their sovereign wealth funds.



In 2008 we completed a successful celebration of our diplomatic

relations with China. We will continue to engage with this very

important partner to enhance both our political and economic ties.

We will also be participating in the Shanghai Expo that will be

taking place next year.



At the political level, our relations with countries of the South

are critical. In addressing some of the global challenges we face

today, we will continue to enhance these ties. Because of this

reason and because of some historical reasons, we will also be

attending the nonaligned summit in Egypt in July this year. South

Africa will send a strong delegation to continue to work with the

Non-Alignment Movement to seek to enhance political solidarity with

countries of the South for the resolution of challenges faced by the

world today. We shall do the same with the Group of 77 countries.



The second Africa-South America Summit is to be hosted by Venezuela

in September 2009, which will also be a key event in the context of

our pursuit of South-South co-operation. The summit aims to expand
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knowledge amongst countries of South America and Africa and to

continue to work together to see how together we can work towards

the alleviation of poverty in our countries and encourage the

exchange of information and experiences, as well as work

collectively on matters of mutual interest, especially in the fields

of sustainable development, and exchange the technological know-how

in science, technology and culture.



South Africa remains extremely concerned with the lack of progress

in the Middle East peace process. We would want to reiterate, once

again, that we think the solution to this lies in the two-state

solutions. We are also encouraged by the statements made by

President Barack Obama and also his overtures to the two-state

solutions, thus reiterating our long held view on the co rrectness of

this approach.



We’ve also stated the importance that our government attaches to our

relations with the developed countries of the North. We believe that

we remain a key catalyst, if not a bridge, between North and South.

In September 2009, we will host the South Africa-European Union

Summit. This is the second summit since the launch of the strategic

partnership between the EU and South Africa. It is important that

our European partners should support the development focus of our

regional integration. Therefore, we’ll make use of this opportunity

to reiterate our concerns around the Economic Partnership Agreement

processes.
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This year marks the centenary relations celebration with Japan. This

affords us an opportunity to reflect on how to better focus on our

partnership in trade, development and investment. We shall continue

to strengthen our bilateral relations with Russia through our

structured co-ordination framework of Itec.



Our bilateral relations with North America and the US, in

particular, is key. In this regard we will continue to explore ways

of deepening the political relations between South Africa and the

US. We have noted the various policy pronouncements by the new

administration in which they express an intention to engage with the

world, ourselves in South Africa, but also with the challenges

facing the people of Zimbabwe. South Africa welcomes this

trajectory.



Our foreign policy will always be informed by our strong belief in

the multilateral systems of global governance. It has been through

the multilateral system that we have always come together to address

the many challenges that confront the world today. At no time has

this co-operation under the multilateral system been more important

than it is today. Nations of the world have to come together to deal

with the effects of the global financial crisis. We have to take

action with others to address climate change. Indeed, these are

among the urgent priorities that we will address this year in our

multilateral engagements.
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We shall do so in all the other forums we will be attending,

including the G20. The G20 Summit taking place in September

hopefully will be an occasion of taking stock of progress in

implementation of all these processes.



We also support the actions taken by the UN to address the financial

crisis. We believe that the UN will allow all other nations of the

world, who are not necessarily members or part of G20 , also to have

an avenue to participate and voice their opinions on the global

crisis.



The international community will gather in Copenhagen in December

2009 to look at steps that need to be taken to address climate

change. We will participate vociferously in this because we believe

that Copenhagen should be able to address the concerns of our

people. We will have an opportunity to address these issues through

an engagement also with the G8 Summit taking place during the course

of this year.



South Africa has been a member of the UN Security Council. We have

alluded to all these other important organisations that we are

members of where we’ll be enhancing South Africa’s international

stature.



We want to take this opportunity to say that we’ll continue to

enhance our diplomatic work abroad, depending on the men and women
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our diplomats posted around the world, to work for a better South

Africa.



We will participate vociferously in enhancing and propagating

Mandela Day and all our missions will take a lead in propagating

this day and doing something good for humanity on that particular

day.



I wish to take this opportunity to pay tribute to both my

predecessors, the late Minister Nzo and Minister Dlamini -Zuma for

the sterling work they did in strengthening and putting down good

foundations for our country around the world.



I also want to take this opportunity to thank my two deputies, hon

Ebrahim Ebrahim and Sue van der Merwe, the Chairperson of the

Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Co -operation, hon

Gamede, the Director-General and all the teams, International

Relations and Co-operation and in particular, my family.



I would like to make a call to nonstate actors - all South Africans,

business, analysts and journalists - to join us in building brand

”South Africa”, outside South Africa. Working together with all our

people we can do more. I therefore present our Budget as tabled.

Thank you.
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The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Let me remind the members of

this long-held convention that we need to respect. That is, we are

not allowed to cross the line. In this case, I refer to the space

between the Minister and the Chair or it could be Mr Ellis on this

side. Generally, it means that if there’s a speaker, the Chair does

not cross that space. Therefore, we don’t allow the crossing of the

line. I’m just reminding members to abide by it since it h appened

earlier on.



Mr T W NXESI: Thank you, Chairperson.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon member , just hold on. Do

you have a chair there? Can you sit down, hon member. Can you

continue, hon Nxesi.



Mr T W NXESI: Chairperson, members of the Cabinet, hon members of

the NA, the members of the Portfolio Committee, members of the

diplomatic corps, ladies and gentlemen and fellow South Africans,

let me start by congratulating the Minister of the Department of

International Relations and Co-operation, Dico, for a comprehensive

and a forward looking speech that sets the ambitious agenda for the

coming session and beyond. But before I move on, allow me to digress

for a moment.



As a new member of this House and, specially since I’m nominated as

the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, I have been asking these
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questions: What is my role here? What is the role of the portfolio

Committee in relation to the department? Yes, I’m aware of the

oversight role we are to play and I’m inspired by the injunction

from President Zuma to hold ministers to account. But what does that

mean in practice?



For enlightment, I turned to the Sunday Times newspaper,

particularly an analysis of the state of the nation address in the

City Press on 7 June 2009 which quotes the political analyst, Chris

Landsberg, on foreign affairs, and I quote:



  It’s an institutionalised strategic and policy legacy; even if you

  want to change it radically you can’t.



Now, I’m worried - no radical change is possible? A commentator I

greatly respect, Professor Sipho Seepe, supports this view by

saying, “Differences, now, are about style and not policy. ”



As hon members of this House, I think we need to question this

conclusion; otherwise we will become the rubberstamp that President

Zuma warned against. To this end, I’m going to make two propositions

which I table for debate and comments: Firstly, Parliament and the

Portfolio Committee, in particular, need to play a role in

facilitating a debate on foreign policy issues to foster public

understanding and awareness and to provide a platform for solidarity

and civil society to raise issues of concern.
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Secondly, our understanding of international relations will be

enriched by the greater knowledge of the social structures of the

countries that we interact with so that we assume a departure away

from international relations being the strict preserve of the ruling

elites, academia and diplomatic community, and that we integrate

other interested parties and stakeholders.



This needs to be democratised and transformed. For example, we all

hailed Nepad as a progressive policy, which sought to place Africans

in charge of their own economic destiny. It was a massive step

forward from the neoliberal dependency model that preceded it. But

the South African and the African trade union movement raised

questions: Where was the input from the civil society organisations

and labour? The economic model underlying Nepad looked uncomfortably

close to that of neoliberalism. We never debated that and today

neoliberalism is in crisis.



It has been noted, albeit with great concern, that African

development initiatives, including Nepad tend to rely heavily on

assistance from external partners that do not have an obligation

towards the AU. This means that such initiatives may suffer should

the partners decide to shift their priorities. Assistance from our

international partners is welcomed provided that it does not come

with conditions. Our aim should be to avoid the legacy of the

disastrous policies akin to the structural adjustment programmes
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that left many African countries poor and with weak governing

structures.



As South Africans we benefited greatly from the solidarity of the

rest of the world who were appalled by the racist oppression that

prevailed under apartheid. Anti-apartheid movements, the trade

unions, faith and civil society organisations were moved by our

common humanity and pressured their government to take a progressive

stance. In this way, they were often assisted by the political

parties, legislatures and parliamentary committees in other

countries. I think we have sometimes been slow to show the same kind

of solidarity – that is, basic humanity – that we benefited from. I

definitely see a role, here, for the Portfolio Committee on

International Relations and Co-operation in promoting what I call a

mass-based, activist approach to international relations and

international solidarity.



Let me also say that it is dangerous to exclude the masses from our

debate on international relations. Yes, economic depriv ation was a

root cause of the xenophobia outbreak last year. Yes, delayed

responses in managing the influx of foreign nationals was a

contributory factor. But I also feel that the absence of a public

debate and understanding on immigration set the scene fo r the

xenophobic catastrophe last year.
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In raising these debates, the portfolio Committee has an important

to play in combating racism and xenophobia and the implementation of

the recommendations from the World Conference against Racism,

Xenophobia and other forms of Discrimination.



Let us start right now by celebrating the decade-long interaction

between the workers of South Africa and the rest of the sub-

continent, which underpinned the mining industry and the economic

development of South Africa. Let us remember that the leader of

South Africa’s massive Industrial and Commercial Workers Union, ICU,

in the 1920s was Clement Kadalie. He was a Malawian.



My second proposition is that South Africa’s foreign policy since

1994, crudely stated, was short on class analysis. Let me pause and

pay tribute to the principles that have guided this country’s

foreign policy since democracy.



We have boldly stated a progressive position, anti -imperialist and

anticolonialist; support for the nonalignment and noninterfer ence;

respect for the sovereignty of nations and an agenda for the African

empowerment and development. But if we don’t recognise the social

divisions within nations, we run the risk of siding with the elites

against those who are oppressed.



Let me give an example I’m very familiar with as the President of

the Education International, the worldwide teachers’ body. In
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Ethiopia, today, 200 000 teachers are denied the right to join the

trade union of their choice. The Independent Ethiopian Teachers

Association, Eta, formed in 1949, has been systematically repressed

since 1993. Its assets were seized and handed to a progovernment

group. Leaders and members of the Eta have been imprisoned, tortured

and assassinated. Despite complaints from the ILO, there has been

little protest from the African leaders. Currently, two individuals

are still detained, Wubit Legamo and Meqcha Mengistu. During the

torturing process, Wubit lost her five-month-old foetus.



Hon members, African countries must openly embrace the African Peer

Review Mechanism and strictly abide by its recommendations. We

cannot go into conferences and sign conventions, only to have them

become an irony in terms of what is happening in our countries. This

will eventually allow for open debates on where the headquarters of

our continental organisations should be.



It is our duty to raise these uncomfortable questions even with our

own executive. Our Constitution is founded on the principle of

respect for human rights. We need to emphasise that workers’ rights

are also human rights. Let me take forward this train of thought: As

a result of South Africa’s relatively strong economic position on

the continent, South African companies have expanded rapidly into

the rest of the continent, bringing jobs and investment.
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A less charitable interpretation is that South African capital acts

as a sub-imperialist power on the continent in pursuit of profit at

any cost. Can I suggest that this house needs to be developing a

code of conduct for such companies, so that they respect labour and

human rights while acting in partnership with other countries to

promote sustainable and socially responsible development.



The Shell company was recently embarrassed by its activities in

Nigeria. South African companies should learn from that.



As this Legislature, I believe we have recently come down heavily on

the side of promoting peace and democracy on the continent. Let me

quote from the ANC 2008 briefing document on foreign affairs:



 In reality, a symbiotic relationship exists betw een armed

 conflicts and economic poverty. Where armed conflict is

 widespread, economic poverty is exacerbated and sustainable

 development becomes impossible. In countries where poverty

 increases, the risk of instability and violence grows which means

 that poverty and underdevelopment are nothing less than a threat

 to democracy, peace and stability. This is because these economic

 realities generate conflict between individuals, communities and

 even countries.



Let me quote from the concluding remarks of President Obama’s recent

speech in Egypt, when he said:
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 The Talmud tells us: “The whole of the Torah is for the purposes

 of promoting peace.”



 The Holy Bible tells us: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they

 shall be called sons of God.”



However, we will not be able to move towards finding lasting peace

throughout the globe under the current global governance. It is our

duty to ensure that we foster a world where there is universal

respect for human rights; where international security, development

and adherence to international law are actively promoted.



The debate, as you correctly said, Minister, on the reform of the UN

and in particular the UN Security Council, has been going on for a

while now without any significant movement. It is understood that it

is a great challenge to force change from above as countries that

hold the veto power in the UN Security Council are reluctant to

change the rules of the game.



Hon members, I thank you for your indulgence as I’ve digressed long

enough. To return to the Minister’s speech, let me comment briefly

on the proposed SA Development Partnership Agency, which is crucial,

I believe, to strengthening the African agenda.



As South Africans and Africans, for too long we’ve been passive

recipients of aid, often with conditions attached. It is with pride
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 24 of 91


that I look forward to the day that, as South Africans, we become

net exporters of development aid.



I believe that this development reflects our commonly held belief

that the economic wellbeing of this country is inextricabl y linked

with the development of the continent at large. In particular, I

believe that we have an obligation to assist in the development of

the Frontline States and the neighbouring states, which sacrificed

so much in the fight against the apartheid regime.



Let us remember those who died; let us remember the raids launched

from this country by the racist apartheid army on Lesotho, Namibia,

Botswana, Angola and Mozambique, during which innocent people were

butchered in their sleep. Those countries suffered in defence of our

cause, even economically.



The agency, clearly, has a role to play in expediting the

implementation of the co-operation agreements, not only with our

neighbouring states, but also with the rest of our development

partners, especially in the South. We hope that this will lead to

the wider regional development and contribute to sustained peace

that will be the foundation for building democratic societies.



South Africa should broadly seek to strengthen bilateral relations

with the African states at all levels of interaction, including at

grassroots level. South Africa should seek to build bridges with the
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fellow African states and work with other countries to mitigate the

effects of the food crisis that has been exacerbated by the global

economic meltdown.



In this regard, government should forge strong partnerships with the

country’s nongovernmental organisations, particularly those that

work in the humanitarian sector and engage them on the ways to lend

assistance to other countries by, amongst other things, forming

alliances with their counterparts in those countries.



Government is obliged to work with civil society through commitments

made under Nepad and the Peer Review Mechanism. I’m very concerned

by the R10 million cut in the programme for public diplomacy. This

country needs to continue promoting its values, policies and image.

This has become even more necessary during the current economic

crisis with all its attendant political risks.



Since 1994, this country has been prominent in the call for the

support of international peace and multilateralism. The signs are

positive. Obama’s presidency has sent out clear signals that it

wishes to turn away from the unilateralism of the previous

administration.



There’s a new spirit abroad; a respect for the peoples of the

different cultures and faiths. As South Africans, I believe we can

identify with this spirit and we need to support these developments.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 26 of 91


Of course, we should always be mindful of the continuing threat from

corporate elites that dominate the world economy.



Our role must be anchored, I repeat, in human rights, solidarity,

peace and democracy. It should also be based on mutual respect and

human rights, not just expanding markets and profits.



I want to send out a word of caution to those who have objections to

relations between South Africa and China. Our co-operation with

China is underpinned by our commitment to strengthening South -South

relations and to the consolidation of the African agenda. China is

also a partner in efforts ...



The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, unfortunately, your speaking time

has expired.



Mr T W NXESI: With those words, I want to recommend, on the basis of

the Minister’s speech and her programme, that we vote for this

budget. Thank you very much. [Applause.]



Mr K S MUBU: Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Ministers,

members of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and

Co-operation and hon members present here, since 1994 South Africa

has become an increasingly important player on the international

stage. This is thanks to our wonderful Constitution, which promotes

respect for human rights and the rule of law.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 27 of 91


That our foreign policy is premised on this is certainly not by

accident but a deliberate effort to reflect this internationally-

admired Constitution in all our international dealings. This,

therefore, means that the promotion and protection of human rights

should be the cornerstone of all our international relations. Their

advancement should be the fundamental guide in determining who

should be our diplomatic partners.



In 1994, former President Nelson Mandela observed, and I quote:



 South Africa’s future foreign relations will be based on our

 belief that human rights should be the core concern of

 international relations.



He added that -



 South Africa will not be indifferent to the rights of others.

 Human rights will be the light that guides our foreign affairs.



However, hon Minister, our foreign policy has sometimes come under

serious scrutiny because we have allowed ambiguity to set in in its

interpretation. The Dalai Lama issue and the continuing Zimbabwe

saga are some of the examples.



When we allow these mixed messages to go out that we do not walk the

talk, we therefore put our international image and reputation at
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 28 of 91


risk and we lose the admiration of those nations that have come to

hold us in high esteem for our respect for human rights and the rule

of law.



Why is it, therefore, that we have failed to speak out loudly on the

abuse of human rights in some of the countries with which we enjoy

diplomatic relations, like China, Zimbabwe, Myanmar and Sudan? Is

this for political or economic reasons?



Under the previous administration, South Africa’s foreign policy

systematically shifted away from the core purpose of protecting and

promoting human rights, to excusing those who undermined them and

protecting those who abused them.



The recent proposal, for example, by President Jacob Zuma to grant

amnesty to African dictators and despots in exchange for their

stepping down raises the question of the principle of accountability

by African leaders.



It is unfortunate that President Zuma has not used the opportunity

to draw a line in the sand and set down a marker – just as President

Mandela did – that South Africa will strive to be the champion of

human rights in Africa and abroad and that we will do everything in

our power to ensure better democratic practices on our continent.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 29 of 91


Furthermore, our role at the UN has been tainted by a number of

decisions which blocked the international condemnatio n of countries

that are known to abuse the human rights of their own people - the

four examples that were given earlier.



Chairman, over the years we have seen a worrying trend whereby our

citizens have been caught on the wrong side of the law in foreign

countries, particularly while dealing in drugs and other illicit

activities.



This has rendered our travel documents to be viewed with scorn,

disrespect and suspicion in many countries. As a result, many

genuine South African passport holders when travelling abroad are

met with hostility, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere

countries.



It is therefore important that we safeguard our international

reputation and image among the international community of countries

by protecting our own national travelling papers.



Chairman, another worrying trend has been the recent reports of

simmering tensions between South Africans and immigrants in some

communities. Just over a year ago, we saw disturbing images of

foreigners being attacked, chased from their homes and their

possessions destroyed in what has come to be known as xenophobic

attacks.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 30 of 91


As we get close to the 2010 World Cup, we cannot afford to have a

repeat of these shameful events that made many of us hang our heads

in shame. In just a year’s time South Africa will be host to

thousands of visitors. If we allow this to happen again, we run the

risk of many people thinking twice about visiting our wonderful

country. We should not forget the hospitality that many of our

people, including some of our leaders, received in many African

countries during the dark days of apartheid.



Chairman, it is also common knowledge that South Africa has become a

hiding place for some international criminals and fugitives who are

on the run from their own countries and from the l ong arm of the

law. I think that we have a responsibility to co-operate with

international law enforcement agencies in other countries to hand

these criminals over to the authorities in their countries so that

they can face the full might of the law.



Some of these people have brought their ill-gotten wealth to our

country and have invested in plush homes and properties in this

country. Among those who have snapped up prime properties in this

country are known African dictators and tyrants who have purchased

these properties with stolen funds. Here again we have a

responsibility to require that these people do account on how they

acquired the funds they are investing in this country .
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 31 of 91


South Africa has one of the best universities on this continent – I

say this because I am also from that background. It is therefore

natural that we attract thousands of students to our shores.



However, among those students are children of some of Africa’s

dictators who come here at the expense of their own people. While

their own educational systems are falling apart because of

underfunded higher education institutions, these children come here

to enjoy and receive first-class education funded by ill-gotten

funds.



With regard to our African Agenda, hon Minister, we have noted with

pride the very important role our country has played and continues

to play in conflict resolution, postconflict reconstruction, peace -

keeping and economic development support rendered to many countries

on our continent. Of course, a lot still needs to be done in this

regard.



At the same time, we have also noted the contribution that our

country still continues to make to the AU, the SADC and other

regional initiatives. In a number of cases, South Africa has in fact

made much more significant contributions to many of these

initiatives than any other country on the continent.



This is clearly understood; in view of the fact that, of course, we

are relatively in a better economic position than many countries on
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 32 of 91


the continent. But, Madam Minister, we should be careful not to fall

into the trap of being regarded as Big Brother on the continent and

to suffer from the Big Brother syndrome in our efforts to contribute

to these initiatives.



Finally, we would like to see a more open and coherent foreign

policy that is applicable in equal measure among all our diplomatic

partners, regardless of what the ruling party or the government

might be deriving out of such a relationship. We should not shy away

from condemning the blatant violation of human rights wherever this

might be happening. I thank you. [Applause.]



Mr L S NGONYAMA: Chair, hon Minister, members of the House, members

of the Diplomatic Corps, and South Africans, South Africa’s foreign

policy has had an impressive start from 1994. With clear principles

and norms underpinning our regional and global relations, some of

the most notable achievements include contributing towards the

establishment of the African Union and its socioeconomic programme,

namely the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Nepad,

commitment to economic development through regional integration in

the Southern African Development Community, SADC, region, as well as

within the context of the Southern African Customs Union, SACU, the

establishment and the sourcing of the Pan-African Parliament,

commitment to peacemaking and conflict prevention, promotion of

international peace and security, democratisation within the
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 33 of 91


continent and the role that South Africa played in various

multilateral fora.




Recently, there are two distinct elements that have emerged strongly

within the South African foreign policy: the Africa Agenda and

South-South co-operation. Underpinning this focus is recognition

that South Africa cannot enjoy prosperity whilst surrounded by a sea

of poverty in its neighbourhood, as was articulated by the first

Minister of Foreign Affairs in South Africa, the late Alfred Nzo.




The Congress of the People believes that contributing to Africa’s

development is an expression of the so-called enlightened self-

interest in that it generates mutual beneficial outcomes and creates

conditions for balanced development. In the long run, growth and

development in Africa will provide an important market for South

Africa. The political ties that we have cultivated in the continent

during the past 15 years need to be nurtured and strengthened. Thus,

COPE is of the view that the Africa Agenda should be the centrepiece

of our foreign policy.




However, Madam Chair, there are gaps that we have observed. First,

there is no clear sense of prioritisation, within the context of the

African Agenda, of countries in the department as to how the

Department of International Relations and Co-operation sets out to
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 34 of 91


pursue the African Agenda. It is not immediately evident where South

Africa intends to make the most impact. South Africa cannot continue

to spread itself thinly throughout the continent. It has to identify

strategy partners and countries so that it can leverage its support

and ensure that it pumps in its resources around those strategy

partners within the continent.




The second one is the African Agenda. It seems to be devoid of a

sharply pointed commercial strategy that delineates South Africa’s

economic interests as defined by our domestic development framework

and industrial policies. There is a very strong emphasis on

political relations at the expense of meaningful commercial

engagement. We are calling for a balanced approach between those two

areas.



So much energy has been spent by South Africa on ensuring that we

build peace within the continent and in ensuring that we reconstruct

countries during the postconflict period. However, we have failed to

capitalise on our political investments for commercial gain for fear

of being rendered as hegemonic or neocolonialist. Instead, other

external countries are benefiting at the expense of our sweat and

our labour.




Yes, I agree entirely with the hon Minister on the question of the

Economic Partnership Agreements, EPAs. It is, indeed, a very
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 35 of 91


important and a strategic question that we need to address as South

Africa. However, we must address it as a matter of priority, because

it is weakening the political influence of South Africa within the

region. It is also weakening South Africa’s influence in so far as

the major markets and within the continent. Therefore, it is

important that the department comes up with a clearly worked roadmap

in this regard; a roadmap which sets out regional integration and

major important areas that we need to focus on in ensuring that we

remain a very strong player within the region.




The third area is engaging within the SACU context. Our view is that

South Africa needs to forestall this possibility by engaging the

countries that have signed the EPA: Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.

It is clear that these countries are now drifting towards the

European Union, EU, and its influence, and we have to find a way of

engaging with them and to solidify and ensure that the goals of the

regional integration are not missed.



We have to send a very strong message to the EU. South Africa needs

to send this about the aggressive manner in which it has negotiated

the EPA and which has opened up deep divisions in the region and

placed SACU on the brink of collapse. We have to find a way of

ensuring that, and we send this message very clearly. Perhaps it may

be necessary for us to start engagement within the context of the
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 36 of 91


Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Comesa, to strengthen

our position.



On South-South co-operation, South Africa has also made the correct

observation that the new gravity of power lies with major developing

powers such as China, Brazil and India. Given the dynamic changes in

the global economy and the challenges that these pose, one would

expect that by now there would be a well-defined strategic approach

to engaging with these countries.



Accordingly, Cope would like to note the following points. There is

a glaring omission on how we should engage with China, given its

economic weight and the potential threat that it poses, both in our

domestic economy and in contesting the African markets. We believe

that there should be a differentiated approach to the South. Such an

approach should take into view different countries’ economic weights

and commercial interest. We cannot afford to enter these relations

blindly.



We believe there is a need for well-defined linkages in the South-

South strategy and the African Agenda, which, at the present moment,

is not well articulated. We agree with the department and the

Minister on the issue of Zimbabwe that we need to be much more vo cal

on our call for the lifting of economic sanctions by Western

countries against the government of Zimbabwe, to enhance speedy
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 37 of 91


recovery from the socioeconomic crisis that is threatening the

stability of the region.



On the issue of Sudan, we are of the mind that we need to give

support to the AU Panel on Darfur that works for peace and to a

genuine two state solution in the Middle East. We are of the view

that the Western Sahara issue is a long-standing issue that has to

be dealt with as a matter of priority, because this has been put on

the backburners of international debates. This is really very

important. Thank you. [Applause.]



Mr M B SKOSANA: I would have given the hon member injury time.

Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members, the IFP congratulate s Ms

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on the honour bestowed upon her by her

appointment as the Minister in the new Department of International

Relations and Co-operation. In the same breath, we welcome the two

Deputy Ministers and also the new chairperson of the po rtfolio

committee.



Due to my long association with the Portfolio Committee on Foreign

Affairs, I am tempted to say, Minister, you have also inherited an

excellent team of men and women who have always endeavoured to be

the best in what they do. The hon Minister recently indicated to

this portfolio committee that the international financial and

economic contraction was making a huge impact on the delivery
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 38 of 91


capacity of the department on pronounced governmental priorities, as

articulated in the state of the nation address of 2009.



A serious plea from some of us is that the African Agenda be spared

any significant cuts. South Africa has a historical and moral

obligation to assist in the culmination of the Third World Project,

bequeathed to Africa through the first Pan-African Conference in

London in 1900, the League against Imperialism and Colonialism in

Brussels in 1927, the Bandung Principles of 1955 and the Afro-Asian

Peoples Solidarity in Cairo of 1957.



The Third World agenda was, and still is, the pursuit of freedom,

justice, peace, democracy and development. Therefore, this African

liberation project is not complete.



Hon Minister, the IFP welcomes Programme 3 on Public Diplomacy, in

particular the focus on the domestic sphere. Too often when it is

mentioned that the President was responsible for South Africa's

foreign policy, the public is left with the impression of a state-

centric foreign policy dictated exclusively by the President and a

small elite. Therefore, diplomatic workshops, conferences and public

meetings are absolutely necessary to involve the South African

public in the process of foreign policy formulation.



Often, Minister, in international trade relations, countries that

wield the most economic muscle write the rules of trade. That is a
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                             PAGE: 39 of 91


fact. It is like the dictum that the one who controls the economy

and the finances controls also the political state. It was,

therefore, not accidental that South Africa shared the same

predicament with the Republic of China, when it came to the visit of

the Dalai Lama to South Africa. It was a classic case of the

dictates of economic dominance and dependence. Here exists , Madam

Speaker, a vexed universal question: that of promoting the culture

of human rights within a chaotic atmosphere of relations between

States.



In conclusion, while the US and the quartet led by the former Prime

Minister of Britain, Mr Tony Blair, work to persuade Israel to

accept and actively support a truly independent and sovereign

Palestinian state, South Africa should concentrate on bringing about

the unity and the co-operation of the Palestinian people. At the

moment, Madam Minister, they are in disarray. This factionalism is

an impediment to successful political negotiations with Israel. The

IFP supports this Budget Vote. [Applause.]



The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (Mr E

I Ebrahim): Hon Chairperson, hon members of the Assembly, members of

the Diplomatic Corps, it has often been said that foreign policy is

the art of the possible, which makes foreign relations the means by

which we intend to achieve our goals. Our approach to international

relations over the next five years will be driven by the need to
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 40 of 91


deliver to the masses of our people what is at the core of our

national interest.



Given that the gap between the rich and poor is wider in our country

than in any other, it is all the more imperative that our foreign

policy priorities reflect our domestic agenda. While actively

pursuing our national interests, we will also place greater emphasis

on human rights issues and the promotion of political solutions to

violent conflicts around the world.



To achieve these objectives, the main priority of our government in

implementing its international relations will be the consolidation

of the African agenda. We will focus on deepening political and

economic continental integration, strengthening bilateral relations

with strategic countries, resolving civil conflicts peacefully, and

preventing gross violations of human rights. Beyond the African

continent, our foreign relations will focus on strengthening South -

South co-operation by building on our strategic alliances with

India, Brazil, and China.



We will capitalise on the good relations we have with countries of

the Middle East to bolster trade, while at the same time supporting

the motive forces in the region seeking democratic change and

justice for the Palestinians. We will also continue to further

North-South co-operation, particularly within the context of the

G20. As committed multilateralists, we will sustain our robust
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 41 of 91


engagement in multilateral forums, while pushing for the reform of

the UN and the international financial institutions.



As a department we owe a debt of gratitude to our former Foreign

Affairs Ministers, Mr Alfred Nzo and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and

her Deputy Mr Aziz Pahad, who over many years laid a solid

foundation for our international relations, and positioned our

country as a significant regional power and an important member of

the global south. Without their leadership and foresight we would

not be the force on the international stage that we are today.



Under the experienced stewardship of our President Jacob Zuma, and

our new Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, we intend to capitalise on

the gains made and steer our country towards new heights in the

pursuit of a moral foreign policy that makes a better life for all

South Africans its first priority.



In order to build an environment in which socioeconomic development

can take place, both in South Africa and the region, we need to

ensure greater levels of human security for our people. Our

understanding of human security is the freedom from want and the

freedom from fear. One of the ways to address the pervasive lack of

human security on our continent is to promote peace and stability by

resolving ongoing violent conflicts.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 42 of 91


Confronting the tragedy of our continent’s conflicts brings a

certain image to mind – that of a little girl in Darfur. She walks

hand in hand with a doctor from Doctors Without Borders, her naked

body so thin and frail that she can barely support her own

structure. She hasn’t eaten for days, she has been raped and her

family destroyed after her village burnt to the ground after the

effects of a scorched earth policy had been exacted. This is the

reality of our children, our African children, in some of the most

neglected corners of our continent. It is such children that wait

very patiently for us to say something, do something, while we talk

of the African Renaissance.



As South African policy-makers we have made these sacrifices out of

our commitment to reverse the image of Africa as a continent fraught

with endless bloodletting. We have made these contributions as we

believe that Africa is the place of endless possibilities, a

continent rich in human potential and untapped natural resources, a

continent rich in culture and history, a place that can regain its

soul once the guns fall silent.



Ultimately we have witnessed the dividends of peace in Burundi; we

have watched a new democratic dispensation emerge in the DRC that

has developed new levels of co-operation with its neighbour Rwanda.



Peace agreements between North and South Sudan still hold as the

country prepares for national elections early next year. Our
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 43 of 91


efforts, and those of other peace-loving nations within the AU, have

borne fruit. We will strive to consolidate peace and postcolonial

reconstruction in those countries emerging from war, and assist the

AU to forge new and sustainable peace processes where peace has so

far been elusive, such as in Darfur and Madagascar.



South Africa’s central involvement in the resolution of the long-

standing conflict in Sudan will continue in order to ensure

implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement , CPA. We also

need to play a more direct role in bringing peace to Darfur, a

conflict that does not fall within the parameters of the CPA.



The ongoing human rights violations being committed against

civilians in Darfur and the worsening humanitarian crisis are of

such a magnitude that we cannot afford to dissociate ourselves from

this ongoing conflict. Failure to address the root causes of

conflict in Darfur could ultimately lead to the unravelling of the

CPA.



We cannot confine our conflict resolution to Africa alone. As our

Freedom Charter of 1955 stated:



 We strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of

 international disputes by negotiations not war.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 44 of 91


Many warring parties around the world have sought, and continue to

seek, South Africa’s assistance in bringing protagonists to the

table, and sharing with them the South African experience in

conflict resolution.



Some of us have responded to the calls for intervention in places

like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Kosovo, Bolivia, Northern Ireland, and

Palestine. It is an honour to share our lessons learned and make

suggestions as to how our experience can be adapted to different

conflict theatres – this is part of our progressive

internationalism. We must continue to play this role internationally

as it is part of a unique niche that we have carved for ourselves,

emanating from our specific historical experience.



The conflagration in the Middle East is of particular concern, as

tension continues to escalate between Israel and the Palestinians ,

as well as between Israel and its neighbours. The situation on the

ground has dramatically deteriorated, and we are now fac ing a

situation where there is an escalation as opposed to a scaling back

or dismantling of illegal Israeli settlements.



Palestinian water sources and agricultural land are being annexed at

an unparalleled rate. The recent disproportionate use of force by

the Israeli security forces against the civilian population of Gaza

has only served to further inflame the passions of those seeking to

establish a Palestinian state.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 45 of 91


While the region welcomed the statement made in Cairo by President

Barack Obama, which advocated forward movement on the peace process,

the recent statement by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu,

has destroyed the hope of many in the region for a speedy resolution

to the conflict.



We acknowledge our limited ability to significantly alter the

conflict dynamics, but we will continue to advocate for an immediate

return to peace negotiations that is inclusive of all stakeholders

... [Interjections.] [Time expired.] [Applause.]



Mr H T MAGAMA: Chairperson, hon members, hon Minister and Deputy

Ministers, directors-general and your delegations, distinguished

guests, ladies and gentlemen, indeed I stand here today daunted by

the prospect of delivering, what I understand from the old guard, to

be my maiden speech, an experience in intensity only second to the

feeling of gratitude, honour and privilege of serving my people in

this fourth democratic Parliament.



Africa is my home, Africa is our home, and consolidating the African

agenda is our responsibility. The ANC proceeds from the premise that

there can be no prosperity and stability in South Africa when there

is strife, abject poverty, war, conflict, instability and

underdevelopment in Africa.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 46 of 91


Former Foreign Affairs Minister Ntate Alfred Nzo warned the

Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs on 14 May 1994 that the

notion that South Africa could go it alone, separate from the rest

of the continent, was outright hazardous. Furthermore, it has been

established that a self-sustaining and parasitic relationship exists

between economic poverty and armed conflict. Where armed conflict is

indeed widespread, economic poverty is entrenched and sustainable

development becomes impossible, as alluded to by my chairperson

earlier. Thus, instability and violent conflict undermine

development, destroy infrastructure, reduce trade and investment,

and spread malnutrition and disease.



Spending by a country in conflict is actually diverted away from

economic and human development to security and armament s. Lack of

stability and security lead to disinvestment and what is termed “the

flight of capital” which, in turn, results in unemployment, poverty

and underdevelopment.



To this end, the ANC, consistent with its internationalist

traditions derived from the Freedom Charter, which provides that

South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and to settle all

international disputes by negotiations, has indeed committed itself

to working together with other countries, especially in Africa, to

fight the scourge of hunger, disease, conflict and underdevelopment.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                              PAGE: 47 of 91


The principles and policy positions articulated in the department’s

strategic plan for 2009 to 2012 aptly capture this strategic task in

the following manner, and I quote:



 We are committed to promoting South Africa’s national interests and

 values, the African Renaissance and the creation of a better world

 for all.



It is within the broad confines of this mission statement that our

international relations policy on Africa must find practical

expression. Consolidating the African agenda correctly remains at

the top of the department’s strategic plan, as articulated in the

President’s state of the nation address.



This, then, concisely sums up South Africa’s perspective of herself

and how she relates to Africa in particular and the world in

general. We are South Africans, Africans in the first instance and

members of the global community of nations.



The ANC has consistently stated that without peace, stability and

prosperity in Africa, South Africa could never be at peace. This is

a necessary precondition for our long-term sustainable development.

In this context, South Africa has made various contributions to

processes that are aimed at bringing about peace, democracy,

security and economic development within the spirit and mandates of
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 48 of 91


the Constitutive Act of the African Union, with specific reference

to the preamble, and to articles 3 and 4 of the Act.



The mainstay of South Africa’s engagement in the resolution of

conflict is premised on multilateralism, and we make our

contribution through multilateral fora, such as the African Union,

the United Nations and other regional bodies collectively and

severally. It is therefore important that we continue to support and

further strengthen forums, such as SADC, and consolidate our

strategic alliances such as SADC, Comessa, and the East African

Community Tripartite Alliance.



The fundamental contradictions of Africa’s backwardness, abject

poverty, disease and superexploitation of both human and material

resources, as articulated in Nepad, remain the grim reality of our

continent.



The ANC therefore remains committed to the reversal of Africa’s

fortunes. It continues to be a struggle, albeit in different

terrain, which must be waged with relentless ferocity with the same

vigour, zeal, zest and oomph with which we defeated the apartheid

monster.



Central to the attainment of our noble objectives of advancing the

African agenda, is indeed the popularisation of Nepad and it’s being

rooted amongst ordinary South Africans. This will go a long way in
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 49 of 91


supporting other initiatives, which seek to defeat xenophobic

tendencies, whose effects we saw not so long ago.



Indeed, it is with trepidation that I note the incident, though

isolated, in which Somali nationals received anonymous threatening

letters during the course of last week. It therefore remains

critical that a deliberate and conscious campaign is undertaken

amongst our people to prevent incidents of xenophobia and ensure the

integration into our communities of all those who are resident in

our country.



In our elections manifesto, the ANC committed itself to the

following: The ANC government will –



 ... spare no energy in our efforts to find lasting solutions to

 the situation in Zimbabwe, Swaziland, the Sudan, the Democratic

 Republic of the Congo, the Western Sahara, Somalia and other

 countries.



The department has clearly set out its key priority areas and

outcomes. While most of the deliverables will remain as work in

progress for the foreseeable future, we hope to set clear timeframes

in some of the areas articulated.



The developments in the Southern African Customs Union are a source

of concern and inevitably raise serious questions, amongst other
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 50 of 91


questions: How does the lofty ideal of regional integration stand up

to the overwhelming urge of some of our sister countries to secure

themselves individual access to European markets and at what cost,

given the practical realities of subsidisation of farmers and

protectionism? Furthermore, what will be the impact on our own

economy?



More than ever before, the elevation and celebration of Africa Day

on our calendar has become more relevant than ever. The celebration

of this important day by one or two cities in our country does not

do justice to its significance. If we are to advance at least the

elements of the Lagos tradition – to borrow from the hon Ben Turok –

and begin to engender collective self-reliance, a common African

identity and a sense of shared destiny, then Africa Day must indeed

be elevated to its rightful place.



Hon Minister and Deputy Ministers, in fulfilling our constitutional

mandate and living up to the expectation of positioning ourselves as

an activist Parliament, we will indeed hold you accountable, but we

will do so without being antagonistic. We will ask questions and

render critique when warranted to do so. But when we do so, it will

be for no other purpose than to assist you to play your role even

better and support you in delivering on our collective commitment to

the people. You can be assured of our continued support.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 51 of 91


In conclusion, the fundamental objective of African unity and our

unmitigated support for the advancement of the African agenda is not

merely the fact that we occupy the same geographic space, nor just

the data about GDP growth or its decline, or our national interests

at the expense of our African brothers and sisters. It is about the

fundamental issues that affect every African child, woman, man and

youth; it is about bringing an end to the endless suffering of

Africa’s children; it is about Africa’s self-reliance in resolving

its own problems; it is about silencing the guns in Darfur, Sudan;

it is about the restoration of democratic government in Madagascar;

it is about peace and stability in the land of Joshua Nkomo in

Zimbabwe; it is about an end to the conscription of children to

fight in armed conflicts; it is about an end to the senseless

murders and rape of vulnerable civilians in the Great Lakes region

and elsewhere on the continent. It is indeed an end of ceaseless

strife, poverty, malnutrition and underdevelopment in Africa.



African unity, therefore, is about socioeconomic advancement.

Indeed, it is about the betterment of the lives of Africa’s

children. The ANC supports the Budget Vote. I thank you. [Applause.]



Rev K R J MESHOE: Chairperson, with the few minutes I have, I would

like to raise two issues of concern. Firstly, Programme 2 on foreign

relations that received the biggest slice of the Budget deals with,

among other things, promoting relations with other countries in line

with South Africa’s national values and foreign policy objectives.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 52 of 91


Under “Strategic Overview”, the Department of International

Relations and Co-operation has stated that their overall mandate

was, among other things, to communicate government’s policy

positions. What was strange though was that government, which

claimed to be committed to promoting human rights on the continent,

seemed to be shifting positions regarding human rights in favour of

other considerations.



This policy shift was evident in the way government failed for years

to stand up to crimes against humanity, taking place in Southern

Sudan. When the UN Security Council wanted to impose sanctions

against President Mugabe and his cronies, South Africa rushed to his

defence objected. When the International Court of Justice issued a

warrant of arrest for the Sudanese President, South Africa, jointly

with AU, objected to the decision, saying that there should be a

hold off on the warrant of arrest until there was some peaceful

resolution.



Rather than helping the people of Southern Sudan by facilitating the

arrest of Al Bashir, they allegedly informed Sudan that their

President would risk arrest if he came to South Africa. The ACDP is

calling on for government to show more commitment and c onsistency,

when promoting and defending human rights on the African continent

in line with our national values.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 53 of 91


Secondly, we are wondering why the department has done so little in

promoting the utilisation of the Registration of South Africans

Abroad, Rosa, and marking its usage by citizens travelling abroad.

It is sad that such a valuable service was not even utilised . [Time

expired.]



Dr G W KOORNHOF: Madam Chairperson, Minister, Deputy Ministers,

senior officials from the department and members of the diplomatic

corps and hon members, in the limited time given to me, I will not

respond to Rev Meshoe. In two minutes you could not list too many

complaints! I am going to leave it to the Deputy Minister to react

to the many complaints that he lodged.



It is an honour and privilege for me to participate as a novice to

this portfolio committee on behalf of my party, the ANC, in this

Budget Vote of the newly named Department of International Relations

and Co-operation. I want to wish the newly appointed Minister, her

two Deputies and the Director-General and all staff members of the

department, all the best in striving to fulfil the vision of this

department, during this fourth term of our Parliament. This vision

states, and I quote:



  An African continent which is prosperous, peaceful, democratic,

  nonracial, nonsexist and united, and which contributes to a world

  that is just and equitable.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 54 of 91


I am confident that we, as the portfolio committee, under the

chairmanship of Comrade Thulas Nxesi, will maintain effective

oversight of the exercise of the executive authority in a manner

that is fair, and if needed, robust. I would like to believe that

his portfolio committee should function on the basis of what is in

the best interest of our country, continent and the world, and that

all political parties represented in this committee will use this as

a point of departure.



In the limited time available to me, I want to focus on two of the

four strategic priorities of the department, namely, the

strengthening of North-South Co-operation and the strengthening of

economic relations. The ANC 52nd National Conference in Polokwane in

December 2007 called for the intensification of economic diplomacy

which should, amongst other issues, create possibilities for

equitable and balanced North-South relations.



The 2009 Manifesto of the ANC states that economic and political co-

operation with other countries can improve the lives of our own

people, and that we are going to continue working towards a better

life for all, a better Africa and a better world, without hunger,

disease, conflict and underdevelopment. This is the bedrock of our

international relations policy.



It is important that our government should continue to strengthen

bilateral relations with the developed North durin g this term of
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 55 of 91


Parliament by continuing to engage with the G8 and the G5 outreach

programmes to promote the African agenda, which the Minister has

highlighted, and by contributing to the development of a more

equitable system of global governance.



As we all know, this needs to be done against the background of a

world economy in crisis, mainly a crisis of the developed world

caused by loose credit extension and a rise in debt of households

and governments alike, which have become unsustainable.



In a globally interconnected world, national and international

leadership will be tested. Central in this scenario would be common

principles of reform and a co-ordinated international approach to

the financial sector. In this regard, our government must continue

with the promotion of the agendas of Africa and of the South, and

emphasise the importance of multilateralism in global governance.



The prioritisation of Africa on the agenda of the EU, G8, the

Commonwealth and other organisations of the North is, and remains, a

key objective.



In this regard, there are at least five North-South partnerships

which are of high importance where we should be promoting the

African agenda. The first is our engagement with the G8, where the

aim is to strengthen G8 relations with Africa. These engagements
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 56 of 91


will be successful if political commitments by the developed

countries relate to measurable projects on the African continent.



The second important partnership is the Tokyo International

Conference on African Development, Ticad. It provides a platform for

African countries to interact with one another and the international

community to find African solutions to African problems. Ticad is

based on three pillars, namely the consolidation of peace, human-

centred development and poverty reduction through economic growth.

Again, the final test will be the implementation of a plan of

action.



The third strategic partnership is between Africa and the EU, where

the focus should be on the implementation of priority actions

outlined in the plan of action. The EU remains South Africa’s

largest single trading partner and the main source of foreign direct

investment. A key priority will be the implementation of the joint

action plan of the SA-EU Strategic Partnership, which was

established two years ago.



The fourth partnership is with the UN, where the UN should ensure

that Africa continues to remain on the global development agenda,

pursuing Nepad objectives. The challenge will be to overcome the co-

ordination problems. The continuous search for finding solutions to

the current global financial and economic crisis, which also

affected developing countries, should not be limited to the G20, but
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 57 of 91


should be discussed by the General Assembly where all 192 countries

can participate.



The final partnership is between the UN and the AU, with special

emphasis on peace and security on the continent. A case in point is

the joint UN-AU peace operation currently in Darfur in the Sudan,

Unamid. It is important that our government ensures that the above-

mentioned partnerships convert political commitments made by the

developed North to Africa, into measurable projects on our

continent.



The second pillar of our strategic priorities is the strengthening

of our political and economic relations with the developed North.

North America has been one of the largest foreign investors in the

South African economy since 1994, with strong support for Nepad

initiatives and the implementation of infrastructure development

projects. These relationships and investments should continually be

strengthened.



Europe remains a strategic partner for South Africa. The Eastern

Europe region possesses strategic minerals that are of vital

importance to the economy of South Africa, and therefore our

economic ties with this region should be expanded.



The seven Central European countries forming the EU is a key

strategic partner for South Africa, and therefore we should not only
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 58 of 91


maintain, but also strengthen, the existing political and economic

relations with that region. Western Europe consists of the EU,

members of the G8 and the G5, and it requires that multilateral and

bilateral interaction at all levels should be enhanced.



Western European countries remain key trade and investment partners

of South Africa, as well as providing major sources of tourism in

South Africa. As a developed region, Western Europe is a crucial

partner for South Africa to achieve success.



North-South co-operation and the strengthening of political and

economic relationships with the North provide strategic

opportunities. Let us use these opportunities effectively in

promoting the African agenda! The ANC supports the Budget Vote. I

thank you. [Applause.]



Ms M N MATLADI: Thank you, Chairperson. The UCDP supports the

reduction of the departmental budget from R5,5 billion to R5,3

billion for this financial year. The focus should remain on the

department’s core activities. That is why the departmental

allocation to the programmes responsible for these activities has

increased. With the upgrading of the departmental information,

communication and technology infrastructure and the occupation of

the department’s new head office campus, we expect improvement in

service delivery as well as savings for this department.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                             PAGE: 59 of 91


We quote President Zuma in his state of the nation address when he

said, and I quote:



  Working with Africa and the rest of the world, we will pursue

  African advancement and enhanced international co-operation. We

  will ensure sustainable resource management and use.



We, therefore, would like to applaud South Africa for strengthening

the AU, for ensuring the success of the Nepad, for promoting

regional integration through SADC, and its representation in the

Pan-African Parliament, PAP, as well as the hosting thereof.



Nevertheless, we believe the building of the head office for the

Pan-African Parliament is also going to take a big slice from the

budget of this department, and we believe monitoring could help in

order that any delays shouldn’t spell out an escalation in extra

budget for this project.



As we look into this department, we also want to say that it is the

department in which many activities will be taking place, activities

that are international, and we would like the communication

promoting these events to be looked into as well as min imising

whatever budget that could be used for it.



With these few words, we would like to applaud this department for

having a quite unqualified audit opinion from the Auditor-General,
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 60 of 91


and we support this Budget Vote. I thank you. [Time expired.]

[Applause.]



Ms M E PILUSA-MOSOANE: Chairperson, Minister and Deputy Ministers,

hon members, invited guests, comrades and friends, as we all know,

we are living and experiencing a constantly evolving world order. As

I speak, the global order is being reshaped by new trading

relationships, new technologies, services and diplomatic ties, and

much of this dynamism is fuelled by developing-world nation states

in the South; and in the process these nation states are expanding

their horizons on the front that I have mentioned and, hence,

bypassing the rich Northern states.



In so doing, the nations of the South started to look and find

appropriate low-cost and sustainable solutions to their problems,

rather than looking to the rich North. It draws on clear examples of

alternative opportunities. For example, if Africa needs boreholes to

access water, it should make sense to access India’s huge pool of

expertise, rather than to recruit expensive European water

engineers.



Speaker, this ANC-led government’s policy with regard to

international relations and co-operation should be seen against the

backdrop of what I have just sketched. And it is a policy that is

informed by that seminal liberation instrument, the Freedom Charter,

which states unequivocally that there shall be peace and friendship.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 61 of 91


This credo was given further expression in the 2009 elections

manifesto, which pledged, and I quote:



 The ANC believes that economic and political co-operation with

 other countries can improve the lives of our own people, and we

 will continue to work towards a better life for all , a better

 Africa and world without hunger, disease, conflict and

 underdevelopment.



Furthermore, in 2007 in Polokwane at our 52nd national conference,

we resolved, amongst other things, to join hands and collaborate

with progressive forces and develop a common agenda with the

objective to realising a just and better world. Such a world order

must be characterised, inter alia, by greater security, peace,

dialogue and greater equilibrium between poor and rich nations.



Also, as the ANC, we are guided by the principle of a better Africa

and a better world. Speaker and hon members, South Africa has played

a significant role in advancing the development agenda of the

countries in the South through its leadership roles in the UN

Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, the Non-Aligned

Movement, G77, China and the steering committees of Nepad, as well

as co-operation pacts between Asia and Africa, since we joined the

family of nations.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 62 of 91


We have contributed and are contributing with the conviction that

South-South co-operation is not an option, but an imperative to

complement North-South co-operation, in order to contribute to the

achievement of internationally agreed-upon developmental goals,

including the Millennium Development Goals. We believe that South-

South co-operation is about the tremendous force of solidarity with

which we can overcome the biggest challenges.



However, Chairperson, just like the world revolves constantly so

does the challenges in the South; hence the need for the drivers of

co-operation to further strengthen it in different areas, such as

communication, technology, trade, investment, finance, debt

management, food, agriculture, water, energy, health and education,

as well as in North-South-related issues. In this regard, we must

enhance and expand the exchange of resources, experiences and

expertise in these areas to make South-South co-operation contribute

to economic growth and sustainable development.



So, Speaker, we are saying that only through collective endeavours

are we able to play a more effective role in achieving development

objectives and shaping international relations. South -South co-

operation does not mean isolation from the countries in the North.

In fact, both the Marrakech Declaration that was adopted in 2003 and

the Havana Programme of Action provides for an interface between the

modalities for North-South and South-South co-operation. In this

regard, there shall be a convergence in the search for the same
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 63 of 91


development objectives, for example, the attainment of the

Millennium Development Goals. In other words, South -South co-

operation should be the instrument to contribute to the achievement

of the internationally agreed-upon development goals.



Speaker, in pursuing these objectives, we are mindful of the fact

that the experiences of developing countries vary widely. Some

developing countries have demonstrated strong achievement in various

domains of development, while in others setbacks have been

registered in different economic and social spheres. Also, we

recognise that South-South co-operation has experienced successes

and failures, which are linked in a broad sense to the external

international environment, which influences development policies and

strategies.



In the 1950s and 1960s, South-South co-operation evolved and

developed in the context of the common struggle of developing

countries to reach development and growth. As a consequence,

institutions for South-South co-operation were developed and

evolved, including the G77 and Non-Aligned Movement. It is these and

other multilateral organisations including UNCTAD, the United

Nations Development Programme, UNDP, and other institutions of the

UN system that helped to formulate and articulate Southern needs and

concerns and provided a framework for a fruitful North-South

dialogue and a mutually beneficial relationship.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 64 of 91


In this context, Speaker, we could do well to enhance more direct

co-operation between the Group of 77 and the Non-Aligned movement,

in order to promote South-South co-operation through concrete

initiatives and projects in all fields of interest for the countries

of the South.



Speaker, the economic growth in several developing countries, and

the strengthening of their domestic capabilities, can have a strong

impact on the scope and effectiveness of South-South co-operation.

It is common knowledge that several developing countries have

diversified economies and rely on well-trained human resources.



Moreover, current trends in international trade and investment

liberalisation, as well as the increasing regional and economic

integration offer new opportunities and challenges for South-South

co-operation. Also, several developing countries play an active role

in the transfer of knowledge and experience, as well as in the

creative expansion of technologies and increasing productivity and

competitiveness.



On this score we are aware that the South has both the desire and

the potential to move South-South co-operation within and beyond

regional and subregional boundaries. A case in point is, of course,

the India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum. Market proximity,

similarity in products and processes and business cultures affinity

can offer investors from developing countries greater opportunities
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 65 of 91


for a new wave of South-to-South trade and investment. Thank you.

[Time expired.] [Applause.]



Mr S MOKGALAPA: Chairperson, the fundamental principles that

underpin our foreign policy include, amongst other principles, a

commitment to the promotion of democracy, a commitment to justice

and international law and a commitment to economic development in a

global and integrated world.



As we battle with the scourge of the global economic meltdown, it is

imperative that our budget reflects this reality. Our foreign

relations programme consumes almost 60% of the department’s budget.

This means we need to make sure that we invest our resources in

programmes that add value to South Africa. We need to review our

obligations to avoid contradictions. Some of the programmes yie ld

very little or no results at all.



Let me refer to the department’s Strategic Plan 2009-2012 which

highlights the following objectives. When it comes to strengthening

North-South relations, we have in recent years dented our image and

relations with the EU as a result of our foreign policy

contradictions and stance. We need to reaffirm our commitment to

democracy, development, peace and good governance and our record as

a champion of human rights. We need to be clear and align our

approach, based on the guiding principles of our Constitution, and
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 66 of 91


to build bridges. We need to reactivate our leading role and work

together with the EU and the G8 to ensure accountability.



The other programme is to participate in the global system of

governance. As we participate in the UN and all of its agencies, our

conduct should be beyond reproach. Our conduct in recent times in

this forum has been driven by negative controversies based on some

of our foreign policy options. We must support the resolution of

“Responsibility to Protect” that allows action by the UN where

states fail to act in their countries.



We must hold countries and their leaders accountable and not offer

patronage and solidarity while the people suffer. We must also keep

in mind that we are signatories to the Rome Statute of the

International Criminal Court. We must support its actions and role

to ensure democracy, international law, justice and accountability.



The programme on strengthening South-South relations must be handled

with care, and we need to ensure that we establish the rules of the

road so that we keep our values and norms in mind and do not

compromise them, hence selling our soul to the highest bidder.



The other important programme is that of public diplomacy. In this

regard I want to agree with the chairperson of the portfolio

committee on the need for mass-based foreign policy. This programme

is most essential in ensuring that civil society is brought to the
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 67 of 91


table when discussing foreign policy. This programme should make an

impact on the ground to inform, educate and engage our stakeholders

in business, civil society and ordinary citizens on foreign policy

issues. South Africans should know and form part of our foreign

policy decision-making processes. Taking the Dalai Lama saga as an

example, we should be transparent and open. We must look at putting

more resources into this programme.



The department’s annual report for 2007-08 highlights the following

challenges as we strive to strengthen our economy and political

relations in the world and Africa. In Africa it is still a zero-sum

game with ongoing conflict and little conflict resolution still at

the top of the agenda. There is little movement on the continent in

achieving development goals, peace, democracy and development.



Asia is an emerging beacon of hope. As relations with these

countries begin to take shape, there is a window of opportunity

which must be handled with care.



Europe remains our biggest trading partner that needs to be focused

on. We need to sign the economic relations agreements as their

economies are beginning to revive. We need to learn from both their

mistakes and corrective actions and remain true to our principles

and values.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 68 of 91


Lastly, the US will also be a big partner in finding solutions to

the problems of the world. We need to work with them in a spirit of

co-operation and mutual respect to realise the African dream.



In conclusion, our foreign policy should promote governments and

states that are characterised by institutions that are held

accountable by an independent judiciary, by a free media and by a

vibrant civil society. We must use aid and trade to encourage growth

and the spread of democracy. We must avoid the trap of close d

patronage and solidarity and realise the bigger picture which is

world peace and democracy.



We need to invest our resources wisely and avoid wasteful

expenditure. We need to support programmes which make a difference

in the world and to be bold in not supporting those programmes that

do not make a difference. We should focus on the achievement of our

national trade interests and not on ideology or narrow political

party interests. Our moral obligations should be our priority. I

thank you. [Applause.]



Mrs K R MAGAU: Modulasetulo, ke a leboha. Letona le Batlatsi ba

Letona ba babedi, ... [Chairperson, thank you. Minister and the two

Deputy Ministers ...]



... hon members, good afternoon. South Africa exists and operates in

a global environment that is dominated by Western countries, and
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 69 of 91


this situation has to be fundamentally changed in the interests of

poor people and developing countries. Hence our country has entered

into a global discourse with a clear reform agenda, with the view to

promoting democracy, international co-operation and stability – a

reform agenda necessitated by the global reality of the skewed

distribution of political and economic resources, as a result of

which certain sections of the international community are poor and

underdeveloped.



It is a reality that a symbiotic relationship exists between armed

conflict and economic poverty. Where armed conflict is widespread,

economic poverty is exacerbated and sustainable development becomes

impossible. In countries where poverty increases, the risk of

instability and violence grows. This means that poverty and

underdevelopment are nothing less than threats to democracy, peace

and stability because these economic realities generate conflict

between individuals, communities and countries.



History tells us that the international community, especially the

African continent, has for many decades been subjected to armed

conflict, mass violence and genocide which have claimed millions of

lives. This has to change.



In most, if not all, countries foreign policy is grounded on the

commitment to promote and protect the interests an d values of the

country’s citizens. While taking into account the interests and
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 70 of 91


values of South Africans, our foreign policy reflects the ANC’s

commitment to the security of the people, stability, peace and

sustainable development.



The ANC’s quest for a better Africa and a better world derives

content from the internationalist tradition with its origins in the

Freedom Charter, which charter provides that South Africa shall

strive to maintain world peace and to settle all international

disputes through negotiations and not war. Thus far we have done

well and still can do more, working together with other progressive

forces in the world.



The ANC has stated unequivocally that without regional and

continental peace and stability, South Africa will never be at

peace. It is in conditions of peace and stability that democracy

grows to majority, and this is so because peace and stability

constitute the necessary foundation for sustainable development in

South Africa, the continent and the world. Hence national and

regional continental security is expected to take into account the

political, economic and environmental dimensions. As the portfolio

committee, we believe that the budget allocated for such activities

is the right thing to do.



Within the context of democratising and stabilising the continent

and the world, the government has made contributions to processes

aimed at promoting security, democracy, stability and peace, as well
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 71 of 91


as economic development. With the help of the South African

government, some African countries have managed to establish the

democratic institutions and mechanisms which are required to promote

these values and human rights in their respective countries.



Driven by the desire to encourage and promote bilateral relations,

the ANC has resolved to improve co-operation among countries of the

South in terms of economic relations, social and political

programmes and efforts to ensure peace and equitable global

relations.



Accordingly, the South African government has entered into bilateral

relations with many countries in the South - the Minister has

already alluded to these countries – to promote trade relations and

economic development. Co-operation between countries such as India

and Brazil has improved tremendously and more needs to be don e to

strengthen co-operation with other like-minded countries, such as

Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, in a number of fields.



We have to say that as the portfolio committee we have noted that

there is poor co-ordination in political economic diplomacy.

However, we welcome the training of diplomats in economic diplomacy

which is under way, according to the briefing by the department. We

believe this will help in addressing some of the co -ordination

problems.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 72 of 91


With the identification of economic diplomacy as o ne of the key

priorities, the economic capacity of South African missions will

have to be strengthened so as to enable foreign missions to assist

South African businesses to access business opportunities available

on the African continent and beyond. Without any doubt, the focus on

developing the economic capacity of our missions derives content

from a maxim that there can be no peace without development, and no

development without peace.



There are gains which have been noted, and we would like to say that

these gains have been secured in terms of promoting peace and

security on the African continent and in the world, and they need to

be consolidated and sustained. In essence, this means that more

financial and other resources have to be expended in respect of

diplomatic and military efforts and aimed at resolving the remaining

threats to international peace and security.



The expenditure trends need to indicate to us the extent to which

the democratic state has engaged in diplomatic and other processes

to promote peace and security on the African continent, pre-

elections or beyond.



Between the 2004-05 and the 2007-08 financial years, departmental

expenditure grew at an average annual rate of 19,8%. This growth is

as a result of increasing contributions to the AU and the African

Renaissance and International Co-operation Fund which funds the
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 73 of 91


extension of peacekeeping initiatives and operations on the African

continent.



While South Africa contributes significantly to the budget of the

AU, we have seen reluctance on the South African side to take a

position in this structure and we would like to make the plea that

this has to be addressed.



Expenditure over the medium term is expected to increase at an

average rate of 6,2%. However, in the 2009-10 financial year

expenditure is expected to increase at a rate of about 89% owing to

expenditure in respect of foreign travel and the construction of

PAP.



With the current overall expenditure trends, the department seems to

be on course in promoting development, preventing conflicts and

ensuring rapid resolution of conflicts where they occur, especially

in Africa. Even the Freedom Charter requires that South Africa forge

co-operation with the peoples of Africa in maintaining peace and

stability, and we applaud the department for doing that.



Owing to its belief that without peace and stability on the African

continent South Africa will never be at peace, the ANC has committed

itself to consolidating advances made in promoting peace, stability

and democracy in Africa and to further capacitating and

strengthening the Department of International Relations and Co-
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 74 of 91


operation. For this reason, the government has allocated funding so

as to enable the democratic state to further advance the processes

which are aimed at stabilising and democratising Africa in the

world.



Being informed by the ANC international strategic tradition, the

democratic government has indeed made a commitment to contributing

towards the initiatives aimed at resolving challenges that continue

to confront the African continent and the world.



The department has received additional funding that is earmarked for

PAP. Moreover, the department has also received additional funding

for South African missions, especially in Africa, for refurbishing

existing missions. Surely these additional funds will even cater for

the strengthening of the capacity of South African missions to do

more, working together with other forces. In fact, this demonstrates

the commitment of the democratic government towards strengthening

economic diplomacy on the African continent and beyond.



While promoting South Africa’s national values and relations with

foreign countries and international institutions, it may, in effect,

contribute to promoting peace and stability. Appropriations made in

respect of promoting interstate relations may not have a direct

impact on continental and global peace and stability.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 75 of 91


The department goes beyond this portion of the budget to accommodate

foreign relations. This shows government’s commitment to enhancing

South Africa’s system of international relations, with a particular

focus on South-South relations. This confirms the position of the

ANC to the effect that a democratic South Africa stands firmly as a

country of the South and will play an active role in the development

and strengthening of multilateral forums which empower the nations

of the South.



There seems to be a general agreement that South Africa is playing a

leading role in promoting and advancing the interests of developing

countries. In promoting these relations with countries of the South,

the government has to ensure that funds are channelled into the

attempts to develop these continental and global institutions of

governance. In particular, the department has to pay special

attention to the efforts aimed at supporting regional peace

initiatives and postconflict reconstruction and development in its

participation in global systems of governance.



To enhance its effectiveness in the global discourse, the government

needs to populate the empty offices of South Africa in the UN, and

maybe also ensure that we have staff in the AU and the SADC that

will advance our South African interests.



In the recent past, South Africa was entangled in controversies

because of its positions on certain issues, and I have heard a lot
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 76 of 91


of members raising these controversies. The so-called controversial

positions South Africa took with the UN Security Council were, in

fact, not controversial but positions based on principle. They were

intended to protect the UN from making interventions that would

undermine regional efforts in resolving conflicts and issues that we

were related to.



There are other issues – that of Myanmar and Zimbabwe. The UN

Security Council was called upon to intervene, whereas regional

structures were still dealing with such matters. While these

positions appear to have been correct, controversy surrounded them

due to the inability of the government to effectively communicate

such positions to citizens, opinion-makers and outside audiences. We

would like the department to deal with this adequately in future.

Instead of promoting sustained engagement, officials are accused of

merely releasing statements. I have already said that the department

has to do a lot in this area.



We appreciate that there is significant funding for public

diplomacy. However, this funding has to be further devolved to

ensure that a substantial portion goes towards improving interaction

with opinion-makers, interlocutors and purveyors of information and

knowledge. Whereas interaction or engagement with intellectuals has

improved since South Africa joined the UN Security Council, there

seems to be an inadequate budget for this engagement when South
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 77 of 91


Africa leaves the nonpermanent seat it occupies on the Security

Council.



Chairperson, with the time that I still have, having an opportunity

of coming from an organisation that has a lot of time in Parliament

I would like to address the hon Smuts Ngonyama from Cope . Just by

way of advice from one parliamentarian to another, I want to tell

him that the platform for engaging in Parliament starts in the

portfolio committee. The issues the hon Smuts Ngonyama raised here,

which he requested the Minister to respond to – well, it’s up to the

Minister to respond to those issues – have been adequately dealt

with in the portfolio committee whose meetings he has not attended.

[Interjections.]



I would like to ask the hon Mubu of the DA how many citizens of the

USA, the UK, France and Germany and other countries in the North

have been arrested as mules for drug cartels. Is it 10, 20, 30?

Well, I think, in Brazil they talk about something between 80 and

100, but maybe this is an assignment that we can finish in the

portfolio committee with him.



On behalf of the ANC, we would like to support this Budget Vote.

Thank you. [Applause.]



The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION (Ms S

C Van der Merwe): Chairperson, Minister, Deputy Ministers, hon
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 78 of 91


members, excellencies, ambassadors that I see here today, members of

the diplomatic corps, this year we find ourselves at a very

difficult time in modern history.



Across the globe, families are in distress as jobs and livelihoods

are lost. We are not immune to this here in our own country and it

will be our challenge to mitigate the effects of t his crisis for our

people.



President Zuma said in his inauguration address:



  The dreams and hopes of all the people of our country must be

  fulfilled. There is no place for complacency, no place for

  cynicism, no place for excuses.



We in the international relations field have our own important part

to play in the fulfilment of these dreams and hopes. The work of the

Department of Foreign Affairs in the past administration, now the

Department of International Relations and Co-operation, is premised

on the principles and philosophies articulated in our Constitution.

These principles arise from our history and have been forged and

honed by great leaders of our movement, the ANC. These principles

still guide our work today and are anchored in our belief in huma n

dignity and the assertion of universal human rights.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 79 of 91

In the introduction to a book entitled Legacy of Freedom: The ANC’s

human rights tradition the then secretary-general of the ANC and the

current Deputy President of our country, Kgalema Motlanthe, wrote

the following:



 As demonstrated by the Africans’ Claims in South Africa document,

 the ANC has always linked national unity and international

 solidarity. Today our commitment to multilateral participation in

 the international arena is evident in our efforts to advance the

 AU, Nepad and the vitality of the UN.



He continued to write:



 Of the AU, formed during the year of the ninetieth anniversary of

 the ANC, it can truly be said that it seeks to live up to the

 outlook presented to our people more than 90 years ago by Pixley

 ka Seme when he said: ’There is today among all races and men a

 general desire for progress, and for co-operation, because co-

 operation will facilitate and secure that progress. ’



He further wrote:



 We are convinced that we share this vision and value system with

 the overwhelming majority of the African masses everywhere on our

 continent.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 80 of 91


The ANC tradition to advance human dignity and opportunity for all

South Africans underpins our work to this day.



I remind us here today of this history so that we do not forget the

great and extraordinary leaders of our movement who begun nearly a

century ago to craft and frame our country and our world. The ANC

founder, Pixley ka Seme, as I have mentioned, attempted as early as

1923 to formulate a Bill of Rights. Others, extraordinary people and

ordinary people in our country, have continued with this work.



So South African history is replete with examples of how our ANC

leaders saw us as integrally linked to the international community,

how we see ourselves not as greater or lesser than other people of

the world, but linked as one humanity. I continue to be inspired by

the vision of our leaders in this regard.



I say all this now as I believe that the writings and thinking of

our extraordinary leaders can serve to guide us, like a thread,

through all the difficult challenges that we face at the beginning

of the twenty-first century.



The Minister has mentioned the economic integration of our region.

She has underscored the importance of building our region into a

cohesive political and economic block. This is both necessary, if we

are to compete in the world, and desirable, if we are truly to share

the values and principles our leaders fought for.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 81 of 91


We have deep political and historical ties with our neighbours in

SADC. The ongoing work to harmonise our economic infrastructure and

planning is key to our advancement as a region.



Last year we launched the Free Trade Area at the SADC summit and the

next steps are more intricate, but not unattainable. It is our

belief that these next steps should be based on developmental

imperatives that should strengthen the region as an economic bloc

for trade with the rest of the continent and the world, and should

strengthen co-operation amongst the countries in the region as

people with a common history and a common destiny.



Regional integration is also the basis for future continental unity,

a dream of our leaders throughout the decades.



The Minister has alluded to the difficulties that have arisen in the

negotiations around the Economic Partnership Agreement between SADC

member states and the EU. This is a complex process, and it goes to

the very essence of how we as South Africa, and indeed, how we in

SADC, see our future together as an integrated region.



The FTA, to which I have alluded, needs to be substantially

implemented as part of the process towards a full SADC customs

union, which will involve, amongst other things, the setting of a

common external tariff among countries with vastly differing

profiles.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 82 of 91


We believe that we need to prioritise sectoral co-operation and

infrastructure programmes, including human resource capacity, as

essential elements of creating conducive conditions to advance the

integration agenda.



We believe we need to set realistic timeframes in our plans and

continue to harmonise and implement those common policies that are

already in place, such as the Protocol on the Facilitation of Free

Movement of Persons.



In other words, we favour a developmental approach to integration,

including, importantly, the implementation of infrastructure

projects in association with Nepad and other international investors

and donor agencies.



We plan, in the coming weeks and months, to take up this debate with

our neighbouring countries in the SADC family. This will take place

in a robust, open and transparent manner, in order to thrash out our

common vision for our region and to move the debate into an active

phase, where we can consolidate the gains we have made and move

towards a sustainable and cohesive region - one of the building

blocks for eventual continental union.



It is unfortunate that, despite the good intentions of the European

member states, the EPA negotiations have had the opposite effect.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 83 of 91


Those negotiations have tended to divide us as a re gion and have, we

believe, set our integration agenda back.



We therefore, together with our SADC colleagues, also plan a robust

engagement with our partners in the EU in this regard.



Linked to this, and as part of our pursuit for a more cohesive and

integrated region and continent, is the development of the SA

Development Partnership Agency, as described by the Minister.

Already South Africa’s foreign policy approach has been to align our

domestic priorities and interests with our work with neighbours on

the continent.



This is not altruism; this is purposeful fulfilment of those hopes

and dreams of our people of which President Zuma spoke. As we work

with our sister departments to give life to this agency we will

remember that this is another stage, not only in fulfilling the

dreams and hopes of South Africans today, but in realising the

dreams of our leaders in the ANC, past and present.



The agency should therefore be responsible for the implementation of

South Africa’s international development co-operation and

partnership policy. It will involve co-operation with developed and

developing countries and will focus, although not exclusively, on

our work in Africa. It will articulate South Africa’s objectives in

joint programmes with countries of the South, and will seek to
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 84 of 91


strengthen our relationship with Northern partners. Again, the

thread of our history will be drawn through in this process.



We will seek also to build capacity through this agency in areas

including education and health.



Over the next three years, the African Renaissance Fund is expected

to expend over R1 billion and this is provided for in our MTEF. How

we align the work of the ARF with the new agency will be a matter

for discussion and decision over the next few months.

During the course of this year, the work of developing the agency

will be taken forward by our department as lead department, working

together with our sister departments. The details of its functions

and modus operandi will be articulated more fully by the end of th e

financial year.



In these difficult times, we remain committed to the fulfilment of

the hopes and dreams of our people. We believe this can be achieved

through the broadening of our international co-operation efforts



As I have the privilege to return to this position, having served

for five years in the previous administration, I would like to take

this opportunity to thank those I have worked with during these past

five years.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                              PAGE: 85 of 91


To former Foreign Affairs Minister Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy Ministers

Pahad and Hajaig, I thank you for your wisdom and guidance. I

learned an enormous amount from all of you.



And to the dedicated and resourceful officials of the department,

led by our exceptional director-general, Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba, I owe

them a debt of gratitude for all their professionalism over the past

five years. I am delighted to be working with them again.



As the President has said, there is no place for complacency, for

cynicism or excuses. We have work to do and with guidance of

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Deputy Minister Ebrahim, and the

support of the director-general and a dedicated and resourceful

staff in our department, I am sure we can achieve our goals. Thank

you very much. [Applause.]



The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION: Hon

Chairperson, let me once again say I am really quite humbled and

enriched and believe I am a better person now, after having

participated in these robust debates on our Budget Vote.



Listening to the contributions made by all the members from the

ruling party to the opposition, I now firmly believe that working

together we can do more.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                             PAGE: 86 of 91


To hon Nxesi through the Chair, it was due to time constraints that

we could not elaborate on the items and points we wanted to share

with the hon members in this august House.



One of the issues that I am very passionate about, being a former

ambassador, is to work with ordinary South Africans to help them to

understand and appreciate the role that international relations play

in contributing not only to the core values of that which South

Africa stands for, but also to the items that have been identified

by the President of the ruling party as our focus areas for the

development of this country.



There is no way South Africa could reach its aspirations without

working with the countries of the world. By the way, Chair, South

Africa is a product of international solidarity.



So we are going to go out as a department, together with our

lieutenants seated here on my left, to all the provinces of South

Africa to talk to South Africans and listen to what kind of

international relations policy they want us to build. We will do

that through izimbizo; and we think as we do that it will also help

us remove this Afrophobia - not necessarily xenophobia.



While South Africans are a product of international solidarity, we

are basically insular people and we always tend to look around,

maybe because of the pain inflicted on us by apartheid. We tend to
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 87 of 91


want to look somewhere else for the solution to our problems instead

of wanting the solution together with other people. Once again, we

want to take this opportunity to urge our citizens to stop these

barbaric acts of xenophobia.



We will strive not to disappoint hon members, and particularly

members of the portfolio committee, in systematically implementing

the agreements and protocols signed by our country. In fact, of the

400 agreements signed by this department with the international

community in the past 15 years, we are in the process of reviewing

all those agreements and making sure that we focus on the ones that

would really help us advance our cause.

I really cannot agree more with the hon members who have urged our

business community members that when they are advancing to Africa,

taking advantage of the opportunities created by our relationships,

that they please carry the good name of South Africa and ubuntu with

them; that they continue to focus and adhere to the code of good

business practice and treat people outside this country with

humility wherever they are going to be engaging in business.



With regard to the hon member, now Chair of this sitting, hon

Skosana, I really cannot agree with you more that as much as we

would want to focus on national interest, having been urged to do so

by other members, South Africa has a historical leadership role

bestowed on it by its history in Africa as much as we want to
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 88 of 91


advance our own national interest and make money out of our gains

and the dividends of peace.



Still, our priority will be to build sustainable peace, and business

and other peace dividends will always come second.



With regard to the hon Mubu through the Chair, Zimbabweans say there

was no other alternative except the Global Peace Agreement, hence we

all have to work with them to make sure that that agreement which

they all are geared towards works, and we support them in hoping

that it works.



With regard to members concerned about Myanmar, I was just want to

reiterate the statement I made about our condemnation of what is

going on in Myanmar and the continued detention of the opposition

leader there.



On the issue raised by hon Meshoe about the peace process in Sudan,

this coming week starting on Monday, I will be in Washington

together with other members who are interested, or who have claimed

the midwifery role in attaining the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in

Sudan, and will work together with them and Madam Hillary Clinton to

see to the fullest implementation of all the elements of the

Comprehensive Peace Agreement of Sudan.
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                            PAGE: 89 of 91


Hon Koornhof, indeed, there is no source of soft relations without

the consolidation also of the North-South because the world is about

the global village today.



Hon Matladi, indeed, we shall make good use of the new building

where we are going to be housed as International Relations and Co -

operation and we shall invite members for the official opening of

the building.



With regard to the hon Pilusa-Mosoane, I would want to say,

malibongwe [Praise!], but I say that knowing you know I know that

you are passionate about issues of functional technologies . Having

lived in India, I know exactly what you mean. But sometimes South

Africans and South Africa spend a lot of money on technologies that

we cannot use. We look forward to working more with countries of the

South in accessing these functional technologies for our own rural

development programmes.



On the budgetary constraints, there is very little we can do now

because of the financial crisis that South Africa and the world is

confronted with. But we can assure you that we shall strive to make

use of our limited resources to continue to sell the brand , “South

Africa”.



On co-ordination of our economic diplomacy, we will continue to work

with the Department of Trade and Industry to align our strategies to
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 90 of 91


make sure that we take full advantage of the benefits that we should

be accruing from our international relations work.



In fact, as we decide which countries should be our focus areas as

we deploy cadres for economic diplomacy, we will work together with

these departments through our cluster.



There is one organisation that I could not get an opportunity to

talk about, which is very much a pillar, if not an integral unit of

the organs of the AU, and that is the Pan African Woman’s

Organisation.



South Africa hosted a conference on the Pan African Woman’s

Organisation last year and still has a responsibility to host the

very important organisation of the AU.



As a department, we are going to work together with the department

responsible for women’s affairs to see to the realisation of a new

home for the Pan African organisation in this country.



Once again, I want to call upon all members and members of society

in South Africa that we cannot move faster in our advancement of

international relations policy if the nonstate actors of South

Africa continue to consider us to be “Ditaba tsa ka ntle” [Foreign

Affairs.]
EPD 18 JUNE 2009                           PAGE: 91 of 91


We are about building relations. Therefore, we need to work with all

of them in partnership and working together we can build a strong

international relations and co-operation policy. I thank you.

[Applause.]



Debate concluded.



The Committee rose at 16:31.

				
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