Media and News from SA

Media Statement issued by the South African Government,

Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

23 August 2018
Meeting between DIRCO and US Embassy following President Trump’s tweet on land redistribution in South Africa

The Embassy of the United States of America (USA)  in Pretoria was called in on 23 August 2018, as directed by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Hon Lindiwe Sisulu, to convey the unhappiness of the people and the Government of South Africa following a tweet by President Donald J. Trump based on false information and lobbying by certain South African lobby groups that seek to derail and frustrate the land redistribution programme. The US Charge d’Affaires was informed to convey to Washington that Pretoria is disappointed about Washington’s failure to use available diplomatic channels. DIRCO also urged the Charge d’Affaires to indicate to Washington that the people of South Africa, of all races, are working together through Parliament and other legal platforms to find a solution to this historic challenge and that President Trump’s tweet serves only to polarize debate on this sensitive and crucial matter. At the end of the meeting, the Charge d’Affaires committed to convey the Minister’s message to Washington immediately. The Government of South Africa wishes to reiterate the following: – That it is following a consultative process in addressing the issue of land and agrarian reform and that it will not allow land grabs and anarchy in the process of finding a solution to the land issue. In this regard, President Cyril Ramaphosa has directly addressed investors and agricultural associations and will continue this process of engagement and consultation with all stakeholders to find solutions that are in the best interest of the country, the economy and the people of South Africa. – President Ramaphosa has also consistently indicated that this process will be undertaken within the confines of the Constitution and in a manner that grows the economy, ensures food security, and increases agricultural production. He has also, in Parliament, underlined that the Government would not support calls for the nationalisation of land. – The Government’s policy and approach to land reform has furthermore also been clarified in remarks that have been made by Deputy President David Mabuza at a Land Summit held on 23 August 2018. – The Government of South Africa wishes to caution against alarmist, false, inaccurate and misinformed, as well as – in some cases – politically-motivated statements that do not reflect the policies and intentions of the South African Government. The Minister has taken note of the statement that was provided by the US Department of State following earlier diplomatic engagements indicating, amongst others, that the difficult issue of land reform is being undertaken through an open process including public hearings, broad-based consultations, and active civil society engagement.

Enquiries: Ndivhuwo Mabaya on 0836457838 / MabayaN@dirco.gov.za

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

Thailand set to boost investment into the Cape

 Date: 23 August 2018

Yesterday, Wesgro met with The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand to discuss their keen interest to boost foreign direct investment into Cape Town and the Western Cape.

The reciprocal visit comes almost a year after Western Cape Premier Helen Zille’s visit to Singapore and Thailand in 2017. The trip has already reaped value, with increased business interest from Singapore and Thailand.

The delegation, led by Mr Damrong Kraikruan, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, expressed their particular interest in furthering investment in the aquaculture, agriculture, oil and gas and tourism sectors.

The delegations visit to the Western Cape came as a recommendation from the local Thai Embassy, who acknowledge Wesgro as a key partner in helping them further their footprint in the Cape and linking Thailand to investment and trade opportunities into the rest of Africa.

According to Financial Times, statistics show a total of 2 621 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects into Thailand over 2003 – 2015. These projects represented a total capital investment of over USD 122 bn. FDI between South Africa and Thailand is marginal, with only two Thai companies investing on one FDI project, each into South Africa over the same period, one of which was into the Western Cape. These represented a total capital expenditure of USD 16.2 million. South African investment into Thailand, is equally slim, with two projects invested by Gauteng-based companies into Thailand over the period in reference.

Currently, there are 150 small enterprise businesses operating in South Africa, employing over 1 000 South Africans. The delegation hopes to see the numbers increase to match that of South African’s working in Thailand, which currently sits at over 1 000.

Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille said: “Cape Town is Africa’s opportunity city and we welcome the Thai delegation to our shores. Investment in our city is not only building ties between cities and nations but also creating much needed employment. Cape Town with thriving technology, finance and retail sectors is the place to invest and employment is growing by 4,8% year-on-year.”

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, said: “We welcome the discussions between the Western Cape and Thailand, aimed at exploring avenues to grow trade ties between the two regions. I am also particularly pleased to note that the Thai delegation has shown interest in the aquaculture, oil and gas and tourism sectors, which are all important levers in our Project Khulisa strategy which is aimed at growing our economy and creating more jobs in the province.”

“The total trade between ourselves and Thailand currently sits at R3.4 bn, with Western Cape exports making up 6% and Thailand’s imports into the Western Cape making up 94%. We hope to see these figures equalise as we strengthen our ties with the country,” commented Wesgro’s Chief Business Officer, Yaw Peprah.

Wesgro’s CEO, Tim Harris, added: “Yesterday marks the first of many meetings and negotiations to come. We welcome the interest expressed by the Thai delegation and thank them for taking the time to visit Cape Town and the Western Cape.” 

For media enquiries:

Sarah Brownlee –  Media Relations Officer, Wesgro

Tel: 021 487 8700  Cell: 083 577 0327   Email: sarah@wesgro.co.za

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