President Jacob Zuma has tonight, 31 August 2016, concluded his working visit to the Kingdom of Swaziland, where he attended the 36th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held under the theme: "Resource Mobilisation for Investment in Sustainable Energy Infrastructure for an Inclusive SADC Industrialisation and for the Prosperity of the Region".
President Zuma has characterised the summit as a success following positive discussions and decisions and said the outcomes of the summit were true reflection of the commitment by member states to ensure integrated development in the region.
"The summit was a success as we dealt with a number of important issues that affect the region most in particular issues around industrialisation, energy and infrastructure development. As leaders we have further reiterated that the time to implement Harare decisions on industrialisation and creating vibrant economy has come to ensure that we develop our economy, create jobs and fight poverty in our region.
"The fact that we want to industrialise our region and create integrated economy, we have all agreed that projects that should be prioritised at a regional level for the immediate term should be those that will promote regional integration and unlock regional growth.
The Summit noted and welcomed a report presented by the SADC Secretariat, which is the culmination of work undertaken jointly with member states, to identify priority infrastructure and energy projects to be implemented as part of the Revised SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Plan. South Africa is committed to work with the SADC and fellow member states to implement the projects, whose ultimate aim is to bring about regional economic integration and eradicate poverty.
President Zuma further said the summit also received progress reports on various political and security matters including, in particular, issues relating to the Kingdom of Lesotho and Democratic Republic of Congo. "We have all committed ourselves to swiftly implement the recommendations as presented in the reports to ensure peace, unity and stability in affected areas," the President said.
The Summit noted that the political and security situation in the region remains generally stable. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as the SADC-appointed Facilitator in Lesotho, presented a report to the Summit detailing the work he has undertaken since the last Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Double Troika held in Gaborone, Republic of Botswana.
Amongst other things, the Deputy President was mandated to work with the parties in Lesotho towards the full implementation of the recommendations contained in the SADC Commission of Inquiry led by Judge Mphaphi Phumaphi.
The Summit welcomed the African Union's initiative in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a National Dialogue process has been initiated, bringing together various stakeholders to work in unison in preparation for the next presidential elections.
The summit has also elected South Africa elected as the Incoming Chairperson of SADC and the country will host the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in August 2017. President Zuma said South accepted this honour as its contribution to the regional integration agenda.
South Africa ceased its membership of the SADC Organ on Politics, Security and Defence Cooperation. For the period 2016-2917, the Organ will be constituted as follows: United Republic of Tanzania (Chair), Republic of Mozambique (Outgoing Chair) and the Republic of Angola (Incoming Chair).
President Zuma was accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Ngqakula; Trade and Industry, Dr. Rob Davies and State Security, Mr David Mahlobo.
Source: South African Government.