Saturday 24th Feb 2018

President Zuma to undertake a working visit to Botswana for the 4th Session of the SA-Botswana Bi-National Commission - 

President Jacob Zuma will undertake a working visit to participate in and co-chair the 4th Session of the South Africa-Botswana Bi-National Commission (BNC) to be held in Gaborone, Botswana on 17 November 2017.

The BNC will be preceded by a Senior Officials meeting on 14-15 November 2017 and the Ministerial meeting on 16 November 2017, respectively.

South Africa and Botswana meet annually at the level of the Heads of State within the framework of the BNC to review bilateral cooperation and discuss issues of common interest.

South Africa and Botswana enjoy cordial relations which are informed by cultural ties and geographical proximity. The two countries cooperate on a wide range of areas including, transport, trade and investment, health, education, environmental issues, water, science and technology, agriculture, justice, immigration, energy, finance, culture, security, sport, etc.

Regarding economic cooperation, South Africa remains one of Botswana’s major trading partners. Many South African companies operate in Botswana in various sectors.

President Zuma will be accompanied by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans; Ms Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology; Dr Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry; Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister of Water and Sanitation; and Ms Tokozile Xasa, Minister of Tourism.

Statement on the President’s Coordinating Council meeting

President Jacob Zuma today convened the meeting of the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) at Tuynhuys in Cape Town and several important issues were discussed aimed at promoting coherence and efficiency in the delivery of services between the three spheres.

The PCC is a statutory meeting of the President with the leadership of provincial and local government - the Premiers and leadership of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) - that is held regularly to promote sound and effective cooperative governance.

Among other issues, the meeting discussed the drought and water crisis engulfing the Western Cape Province, with the province appealing for assistance. The meeting agreed to refer the Western Cape matter to the Inter-Ministerial Task Team led by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and include the Minister of Water and Sanitation to address the challenge of drought and cover other affected provinces as well.

The meeting also received a report back on the constitutional, systemic and structural challenges relating to Eskom and municipalities on electricity reticulation.

A progress report was also received on the Presidential War on Leaks Programme, which President Zuma spearheads and is aimed at fighting water leakages while providing youth with skills as plumbers and in various artisan trades.

President Zuma also noted with concern the reported failures by some government departments and provinces to pay particularly small businesses on time, within the stipulated 30 days of submitting legitimate invoices.

“Failure to pay on time has a negative impact on our economy especially on the small businesses which run the real risk of being squeezed out of business activity,” said the President.

President Zuma concluded the meeting by calling on all levels of government to work together efficiently to deliver services to the communities and for government departments to ease the bureaucracy that stifles the growth and prosperity of small businesses.

Issued by: The Presidency