Pretoria: With the growing bilateral and trade relations between South Africa and Angola, the two countries have resolved to establish a mid-review mechanism.
To meet twice a year, the mid-review mechanism will be used to assess progress in the implementation of agreements and make the necessary follow-up and interventions.
“We have additionally decided to create a technical task team of relevant departments and ministries to meet twice a year in order to follow up on implementation. It is imperative that all departments and ministries continue to meet at regular intervals to work on the implementation of agreements for the mutual benefit of the two countries,” International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Friday.
She was speaking to the media after the 3rd Session of the South Africa-Angola Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) held in Pretoria.
Nkoana-Mashabane had co-chaired the JCC — which aims to promote political economic and social cooperation between the two countries — with her Angolan counterpart, Georges Chikoti.
To date, two countries have signed over 22 bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding covering a wide range of sectors such as trade and industry, energy, science and technology, sport, mining, tourism and defence.
However, the implementation of some of these agreements has been slow and both sides hope that the newly established teams will be prioritised.
Relations between South Africa and Angola were forged during apartheid years. With its huge oil reserves, Angola is Africa’s third largest economy and has investment potential for Pretoria.
In 2012, Angola became South Africa’s number one trading partner on the continent with total South African imports amounting to R23 billion, while exports amounted to R8.7 billion.
Nkoana-Mashabane, who described relations between the two as more than political and more like “blood ties”, hoped that going forward, the two countries will further unlock economic potential.
“We are working on also creating a special and strategic cooperation between the two countries, which means that we will be paying more focus on key sectors to up bilateral cooperation and partnership.
For his part, Chikoti said as leading economies on the continent, both countries have a lot to learn from each other.
The two sides also discussed and exchanged views on the latest political developments in the world, paying particular attention to the security situation in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The two sides reiterated that need for the SADC/International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Summit, as decided by the Lilongwe SADC Summit.
Asked about the reports that Angolan forces entered the neighbouring Congo Brazzaville and had taken a number of Congolese military hostage, Chikoti said they entered the Congo’s southwestern Kimongo district from the Angolan enclave of Cabinda, adding that it was an issue of their unfamiliarity with the borders.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has recently said he wants to help secure peace and stability in the region through diplomacy, rejecting, for example, calls for it to send soldiers to help quell the rebellion in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.