President Zuma and HM King Albert II, 29 Sept 2010
President Zuma, accompanied by Prime Minister Leterme, inspects the Guard of Honour at Val Duchesse, 29 Sept 2010
Presidents Van Rompuy, Zuma and Barrosso, 28 Sept 2010
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane introducing Deputy Minister Fransman to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Steven Vanackere, during the latterâ€™s visit to South Africa, Nov 2010
The Mission’s successes for 2010 have been with tremendous support from a number of friends and partners. Even this beautiful Mogôbagôba Dialogue annual report has once again been made possible entirely through support from our friends. Thanks to our sponsors, we look forward to their continued support to the Mission and South Africa, which we have become accustomed to.
Finally, thanks go to the Mission staff as the many cogs in the big wheel whose dedication, hard work and commitment has made it possible to achieve so much over the past year. This is also to thank my colleagues in the Brussels diplomatic community, who I have spent many hours working with over the past year, particularly the SADC Group. Working with you has again contributed to my continued growth and experience.
2010 Fifa World Cup the legacy lives on! The 2010 Fifa World Cup was one of the greatest achievements
of multi-billion rand World Cup-related construction projects.
Cup street dance, at Place de la Monnaie in central Brussels. Another Diski Dance session was held during the celebration of Africa Day, at the Colonial Palace in Tervuren on 25 May 2010. Throughout the 2010 Fifa World Cup season, the Embassy partnered with BOZAR, with the latter providing a venue for live screening of all matches. The Embassy also participated in the London School of Economics Alumni networking session, where invited guests watched the South Africa-France encounter, which was thrilling in all respects and South Africa emerged the winner.
Activities in Brussels
2010 has been a good year for South Africa and the national football team, “Bafana Bafana”. The year ended on a high, with news that South Africa’s world football ranking is on an upswing.
In Brussels, the rapture of joy at Place du Luxembourg by a crowd of football fans, VIPs and passers-by, still rings in many of those who were present at the Embassy-arranged Live Screening of the Opening Match against Mexico on 14 June 2010. Given the context of the game, the opener of the first ever World Cup in Africa, against a highly regarded opponent, the importance and class of Simphiwe Tshabalala’s goal cannot be under-estimated.
Tourism and economic beneﬁt
of post-apartheid South Africa. For 32 days, hundreds of millions of people watched in awe as South Africa took its rightful place in the world and at the same time welcoming the world to South Africa. In the face of the global financial crisis, South Africa rode the tide with ease, thanks largely to a number
Preceding the Live Screening at Place du Luxembourg, the Embassy hosted a Diski Dance session, the 2010 Fifa World
At the end of the greatest sporting spectacle on earth, instead of a hung over morning after, South Africa woke up to unprecedented spin-offs from the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The social and economic benefits created will continue to be felt by South Africa and the Continent for years to come. The unity experienced in South Africa was the highlight of
the tournament, showing the potential for further nation building in the country. The show of support by Africans to other African soccer teams once their own national teams had been knocked out of the World Cup cannot be undervalued. It shows that while the regional integration efforts of the continent are moving steadily, the people have already moved, as they naturally supported their African brethren. During the event, South Africa hosted over 309 000 tourists, spending approximately R3.6-billion, with more than 95% saying they would visit again. A study of the impact of the 2010 Fifa World Cup on South Africa’s tourism industry shows that the event was worth every cent invested in it. The South African government injected some R33-billion into preparations for the World Cup, which was an investment that formed part of a long-term development plan for the country, rather than funding a once-off event. Hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup acted as a catalyst for expanding South Africa’s infrastructure base, skills development, employment creation, and economic growth. Business tourism, boosted by the successful hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, is playing an important and growing role in helping South Africa’s job creation objectives. Potential investors have been streaming into South Africa since having being exposed to the country like never before during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
Legacy and future The organising of such a major event would not have gone as smoothly without the provision of comprehensive security to the lovers of the beautiful game. The government is determined to take the best practices and lessons learnt during the event to safeguard both citizens and visitors. As soon as the Vuvuzela went to sleep, South Africa and the football governing body Fifa unveiled a 2010 Fifa World Cup Legacy Trust, as one of the lasting legacies following the successful hosting of the first Fifa World Cup on African soil. The 2010 Fifa World Cup Legacy Trust aims at boosting education, health, humanitarian activities and football development. During the World Cup, the action in all stadia was beamed live to various Public Viewing Areas (PVAs) all over the country. The same PVAs were used again in February to April 2011 during the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup. The 2010 Fifa World Cup has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the South African sporting landscape, with the country now boasting numerous world-class stadiums. The stadia are already being used by other sporting codes and for various events, even weddings.
SADC Week 2010
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Group of Embassies in Brussels is a vibrant and active group that meets regularly, discussing issues of mutual concern and planning events for the benefit of the group. Between the 28th of September 2010 and the 2nd of October 2010, the SADC Group staged what has been dubbed SADC Week to promote the region. The Group staged similar activities in 2009 between September and October and the past yearâ€™s events have taken the concept to greater heights, with plans to expand activities for 2011 already starting.
Marking the start of SADC Week, on 28 and 29 September 2010, the most recognisable statue in Belgium, the Manneken Pis, was dressed in SADC attire. The ceremony to dress the Manneken Pis provided a great opportunity to market the region to Belgians and tourists visiting the famous statue. The Belgian authoritiesâ€™ partnership with the SADC Group when its most recognisable statue was adorned in SADC attire, signified the close friendship that the Group has with
Belgium. The SADC Group Embassy officials, as well as, a few informed attendees took the pleasure of informing the inquisitive public about what SADC is all about, including, what the Group had planned for the week. Throughout the day of 29 September, there was a display of SADC arts and culture, including music, poetry and cuisine at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Each country had officials on hand to interact with the public on what SADC Week and SADC were all about, as well as, share information on the country they were representing. SADC cuisine was available for sale throughout the day and visitors had the opportunity to enjoy the tastes of the region. The SADC Group appreciated all the assistance from VUB, including provision of the venue and partial funding. The university gave logistical support in the planning and actual staging of the event. On the 2nd of October 2010, the SADC Group staged a SADC Sports and Fun Day picnic at Esjeeweelokaal, in Tielt-Winge. The aim of the day was once again to give greater visibility to SADC and provide an opportunity for SADC nationals and friends, to celebrate SADC Day and interact among each other in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Week Investment Seminar
Different SADC Embassies provided food and drinks and a caterer was organized to braai enough meat for all the guests, with music entertainment provided by a DJ. One of the major highlights of the day was the SADC Mini-Soccer Tournament, where 8 SADC countries took part. This gave an opportunity for the diplomats who normally wear suits and ties every day an opportunity to exchange their suits and ties for soccer kits and boots. Participants also included the family and friends of the SADC Group diplomats, providing for an energy filled fun tournament. The red cross was present to give assistance to a few participants who overstretched themselves during the tournament. Other activities included a children’s playing area, with a clown to entertain children.
On 16 and 17 February 2011 the SADC Group got down to business with an investment seminar that took place at The Hotel, thanks to support from Pro€Invest. The goal of the seminar was to promote investment to the SADC region, particularly in the tourism sector, where there is tremendous potential for growth in the region. Furthermore, the seminar aimed at matching SADC tourism and investment promotion agencies with counterparts in Europe. Project proposals were shared with potential investors.
All the SADC countries were represented, thanks again to the sponsorship from Pro€nvest, which covered the travel and accommodation costs for all the participants from the SADC countries. Approximately hundred (100) participants attended the seminar, notably, Mr Remigious Makumbe, the Director of Infrastructure and Services at the SADC Secretariat, the ACP Secretary General, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas and representation from the European Commission. The Seminar was a resounding success, with positive feedback received from participants and the SADC Group looks forward to hosting the next event.
African, Caribbean and
With the ACP’s Strategic Management Plan for the period 2007-2009 having ended in 2009, the year 2010 was in essence a transition year, while the ACP was busy developing a new strategic plan for 2011-2014. The objective of the new strategic plan is to reinvigorate the ACP as an organization and to give it greater visibility in the international arena.
There are immense challenges facing the ACP-EU partnership, which brings together about 106 countries from four continents, such as food security, the fight against poverty, the impact of the financial and economic crisis, cuts in Official Development Aid, and Climate Change. Additional challenges include the ability of the ACP States to adapt to the EPAs, the Doha Round of Negotiations and the new institutional
architecture of the EU, instituted by the Lisbon Treaty. The Future of the ACP Group to achieve greater solidarity among its members with a view to meet the development challenges, remains a priority for the Group to address as a matter of urgency.
Signing of the 2nd Revision of the Cotonou Agreement The negotiations on the revision of the Cotonou Agreement started in Brussels in May 2009 and were concluded in February 2010, with the signing scheduled for 22 June 2010 during the 91st Session of the Council of Ministers Meeting in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Although several countries signed in Burkina Faso, South Africa could not sign. However, on 27 September 2010, Mrs Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, signed the Agreement on the margins of President Jacob Zuma’s visit to Brussels for the SA-EU Summit and an Official Visit to Belgium. The Agreement was signed at the EU Council Headquarters, in the presence of the ACP Secretary General, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Ambassador Sooklal and visiting high ranking South African officials attending the ceremony. In compliance with South African legal requirements, the revised agreement is now following the procedural process towards ratification.
Meeting with President Zuma On 28 September 2010, the Secretary General of the ACP Group, accompanied by Ms Nthisana Phillips, the Assistant Secretary General for the ACP Directorate on Establishment and Finance, paid a courtesy call on President Jacob Zuma, during the latter’s visit to Belgium. The President assured the Secretary General of South Africa’s continued interest and solidarity with the ACP Group, being one of the major financial contributors to the ACP budget.
Paciﬁc (ACP) Group of States
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane on the ocassion of the signing of the Cotonou Agreement, Sept 2010
Committee of Ambassadors South Africa actively participates in the regular Committee of Ambassadors meetings, where topical issues of concern to the ACP countries are discussed. In an effort to optimize the impact and benefits of ACP-EU Partnership Programmes for its member states and in pursuing avenues to expand the scope, value and functions of the ACP in the international arena in areas of trade and development cooperation, poverty eradication and South-South Cooperation, a South-South Symposium was held in January 2011 on international development cooperation with the participation of representatives from the emerging economies. Ambassador Sooklal participated in the steering committee meetings which resulted in the participation of Mr Robin Toli, the Chief Director at the South African National Treasury presenting South Africa’s experiences in South-South Cooperation at the Symposium, along with representatives from India, Brazil, Nigeria and Cuba.
The ACP as lobbying group South Africa’s candidature to the World Customs Union was enhanced by South Africa’s presentation of the candidature to the Committee of Ambassadors and by obtaining the support from the ACP group which contributed to the successful appointment of Dr Erich Kieck as the Director for Capacity Building.
South Africa will also count on ACP solidarity in other lobby efforts including the, yet to be decided at the time of going to print, awarding of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) bid to the continent.
ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly The regular ACP Parliamentary Assembly and ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary sessions, preceded by Intercessional meetings in Brussels, were well attended by the South African Parliamentarians responsible for the ACP Portfolio, Messrs Manamela and Davidson and Ms Sibidhla, with the capable support of Parliamentary officials Cheryl-Anne Paulse and Janine Paulse. The November 2010 JPA in Kinshasa led to some lively discussions on several sensitive issues to create better understanding between the ACP and EU Parliamentarians, with more debates during the November 2010 meeting in Kinshasa, where the visiting delegations could experience first-hand the difficulties and realities of a country in transition after years of conflict and the importance of international cooperation and true partnerships in creating better lives for all. Throughout 2010, the hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa provided for some lively discussions amongst the participating countries in the eliminating rounds of the World Cup during the various ACP and Joint ACP-EU meetings.
Relations with Luxembourg
The Embassy continues to engage with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg at both bilateral and multilateral level. Dr Jacques Elvinger, The South African Honorary Consul in Luxembourg, is a prime driver of South African interests in the Grand Duchy (refer to the Honorary Consul’s profile below). The Embassy remains optimistic that opportunities in the Luxembourg financial industry could still be explored.
The Embassy events calendar included a National Freedom Day Reception in Luxembourg on 29 April 2011 as a platform to renew friendship with strategic political, trade and civil society contacts.
Proﬁle: Dr Jacques Elvinger Dr Jacques Elvinger is South Africa’s Honorary Consul in Luxembourg. He has been an Honorary Consul for South Africa since October 2007. His main task is to advance South Africa’s interests in Luxembourg and is the official link between the South African Government and the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Dr Elvinger is a lawyer and member of the Luxembourg Bar since 1984. His professional field of expertise is in investment funds and pension funds and heads the investment fund practice at Elvinger, Hoss & Prussen law firm. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the “Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry” (ALFI) and co-chair of the “Legal Commission” of ALFI. Mr Elvinger is a member of several advisory committees within the “Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier” (CSSF) in the area of investment funds. Dr Elvinger is also a lecturer at the University of Luxembourg.
Tourism Promotion Tourism accounts for 8.15% of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) and this figure is expected to rise to 12% by 2014.
Entertainment and Leisure
Government views South Africa’s burgeoning tourism industry as one of the cornerstones of ecomnomic growth. Tourism has, in fact, outstripped all other sectors of the economy as a contributor to economic growth in recent years.
Foreign visitors are spending their money on everything from once-in-a-lifetime African safaris, to consumer items for resale in their own countries. The latter accounts for the 15.5% rise to 5.3 million travelers from South Africa’s neighboring states and the rest of the African Continent.
The Belgian market proved to be resilient to the economic downturn, ranking amongst the top fifteen (15) sources of global long-haul tourism flows to South Africa. The Embassy continue to work closely with South African Tourism and the Visit Southern Africa.be (VSA), to promote South Africa as a tourism destination of choice in the Belgian market.
Furthermore, on the 20th of January 2011, the Embassy participated in a VSA-organized Travel Trade Workshop held at the Antwerp Zoo, Astridplein. Approximately hundred (100) travel agents attended the Workshop. The day-long Workshop comprised of free-flow interactions with individual stand-holders and specialized presentations by South African suppliers. The Travel Trade Workshop was held within the context of the Joint Tourism Marketing Strategy between the Embassy, South African Tourism and the VSA. The Workshop followed high on the heels of the Vakantiebeurs in Utrecht (12 to 16 January 2011) and a series of South African Tourismorganized trade workshops in the Netherlands. The evening was concluded by a reception and live music entertainment, with results of the ten (10) familiarization trips announced by the Chairman of the VSA Steering Committee, Mr Marc Van der Donckt. Â The prizes were awarded to ten travel agents who correctly answered a tourism-related questionnaire on South Africa. The trips entailed familiarization and exposure of travel agents to tourism products in South Africa. Ten travel agents won this opportunity of a lifetime to travel to South Africa. South African partners to this venture arranged transit and ground arrangements, including transport, accommodation and catering/meals. It is envisaged that the travel agents will be able to effectively market South Africa based on the recent trends they observed during familiarisation trip. Furthermore, it will position the Embassy and the VSA to make timely marketing interventions and alignment with the South African tourism regional marketing strategy. The Embassy is grateful to South African Tourism and South African Airways for their kind sponsorship and look forward to yet another productive year ahead.
VSA Days, Nov 2010
VSA Chairman, Mr Marc Van Der Donck, speaking at VSA Days
Mandela Day The UN has declared 18 July Nelson Mandela International Day in recognition of the former South African president’s commitment to human rights, conflict resolution and reconciliation. Since 2010, the day is observed each year on 18 July – Mandela’s birthday – and people across the world have been urged to dedicate 67 minutes of their time to uplift society in some way.
Three Nelson Mandela Day activities, with the South African Embassy’s participation, were hosted in and around Brussels. The Mission assisted the “De Bib” (Library) at Sint-Niklaas with the library’s Mandela Day event on the 18th of July 2010, by providing appropriate information and publications. Secondly, a very successful film evening was held, in collaboration with
the United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) and an equally symbolic event was held at Sint Truiden, Province of Limburg, t’ Meiland Old Age Home. In 2009, t’ Meiland donated walking and physiotherapy aids to the Kwa-Zulu Natal Department of Social Development and the 2010 event served to build on the good relations the Embassy has with the home.
Mr Robert Bamps, President of the OCMW, St-Truiden, welcoming Ambassador Sooklal at the Old Age home
Wheelchair walk with Embassy staff
Cooperation between the South African Parliament The relations between the South African Parliament and
Parliament (EP) are a key component of the overall SA-EU Strategic Partnership. The engagement in 2010 was once again, involved and deepened further during 2010/11 through the 15th, 16th and 17th InterParliamentary meetings (IPM).
The 15th IPM was held from 25 to 26 May 2010 in Cape Town, with the 16th meeting held from 26 to 27 October 2010 in Brussels and the 17th session from 21 to 23 February 2011 in Cape Town. At both meetings, Ms Joan Fubbs, Chair of the South African Parliamentâ€™s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, led the South African Delegation and the EP delegation was led by Mr Michael Cashman, Chair of the EP Delegation for Relations with South Africa. The parliamentary engagement is vital as both bodies are legally tasked with oversight of the implementation of the SA-EU Strategic Partnership. As a result, the discussions at the
Presidents Zuma and Buzek (EP), 29 Sept 2010
meetings included the status of the Strategic Partnership, political and socio-economic developments in South Africa and the EU, continental political and security issues, and global issues. On these topics discussions concentrated on the Mid-Term Review of the Joint Country Strategic Paper, the EPA negotiations, the 2nd Revision of the Cotonou Agreement, and the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership. Of the global issues, the ongoing Climate Change negotiations, the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the reform of the international governance system, including the international financial institutions and the United Nations, are some of the issues that were discussed. A large focus of the engagement was on how to deepen cooperation on areas of common understanding and understanding on those issues where South Africa and the EU have differences of approach and views. The IPM also fosters multi-party engagement between the two institutions as the representatives are from a number of different political parties and groupings. This is important as it allows wider information and experience sharing amongst the MPs. As part of the meetings, the visiting MPs also meet with the leaders of the political parties or groupings in the host Parliament.
and the European Parliament The engagements in 2010 were within the context of the EP’s increased mandate under Lisbon Treaty. In-depth discussions were held on how the Delegation sees the EP’s strengthened
role in the formulation and implementation of the EU’s policies, in particular, on areas such as Development and International Trade. The importance of the EP to South Africa’s engagement with the EU was also underscored by President Zuma’s visit to the EP on 29 September 2010. During the visit, the President met with the President of the EP, Jerzy Buzek. Their discussions included, amongst others, regional and continental issues, the partnership between South Africa and the European Investment Bank and the Climate Change negotiations. President Zuma also addressed the Foreign Affairs Committee, in association with the Development Committee, and the Delegations for Relations with South Africa and the Pan-African African Parliament, in the presence of the EP’s Delegation to the Joint ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly.
Leader of the SA Delegation, Ms Joanmarie Fubbs, addresses the IPM
President Zuma’s main message was on the need for strengthened global cooperation through partnerships that can steer sustainable development, especially in developing regions. In this regard, he highlighted the importance of the ongoing EPA negotiations, reiterating that the focus has to be on a developmental, mutually beneficial final agreement, which supports regional integration efforts in Southern Africa. Furthermore, President Zuma stated that the EU can play an important, developmental role in the developing world, but has to strengthen its engagement with the developing regions in order to complement their developmental agendas. In this context, the EP has a critical role to play in the implementation and oversight of the EU’s relations with the developing world and can also be the engine that drives deeper understanding between the EU and the rest of the world. The President highlighted the importance of the engagement between the two parliaments. It is vital that both the South African Parliament and the EP remain engaged and involved in the implementation of the Strategic Partnership. The IPM engagement adds value to the overall engagement and also ensures elected representatives are updated on the developments.
Members of the SA Delegation
The Embassy continues to enjoy good and constructive relations with the EP in general, and specifically the Delegation for Relations with South Africa. We look forward to further engagement in 2011.
Published on Nov 17, 2011
Published on Nov 17, 2011
Presidents Van Rompuy, Zuma and Barrosso, 28 Sept 2010 Minister Nkoana-Mashabane introducing Deputy Minister Fransman to Deputy Prime Minist...