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DIRCO's foreign work impacts local communities

8 October 2015

Cape Town – International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo says the diplomatic work that the department does is important as it has the potential to impact communities through job creation. The Minister said this when she held an imbizo with Rondevlei residents at the Lavender Hill Secondary School in the Western Cape.

The Imbizo, which was part of activities planned to mark Heritage Month, was aimed at briefing members of the community on South Africa’s foreign policy priorities as well as to celebrate the life and legacy of struggle stalwart Dora Tamana.

Photo: International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo laying a wreath at the grave of Dora Tamana. Photo: Jacoline Schoonees

“When I took up the position of Deputy Minister, I told myself that I will explain to our people the connection between the work we do abroad and the realities here at home.

“One of the major ways in which my department contributes to the growth of South Africa is to mend relations with countries abroad who end up investing in South Africa and South Africa investing in them.”

Ambassadors from Russia, China and Kazakhstan also attended the Imbizo.

The Deputy Minister said their governments had an important role in addressing the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality and that the work of the foreign ambassadors to South Africa showed that they remained committed to partnering with South Africa.

“When foreign countries invest in South Africa, they employ South Africans and this is a direct contribution towards addressing our challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequity,” she said.

The Deputy Minister told members of the community that African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063 envisions an Africa that is at peace with itself, an Africa that is free and prosperous.

She said the vision focuses on the empowerment of women and youth towards sustainable and developmental African continent.

The vision also comes at a time that the AU has adopted 2010 to 2020 as the decade of the women which is aimed at supporting women and youth cooperatives.

Under this theme, supporting youth and women-led initiatives is something that government was focusing on, she said.

The Deputy Minister commended residents on the Rondevlei Housing Project where the community lobbied local authorities for a piece of land. She said they had played an active role from construction management to housing list coordination.

Several houses were handed over on the day as part of the project.

“In this vain, I must congratulate you for winning the Govan Mbeki Award for your role in building these houses yourselves. In all of this, my department continues to make available training opportunities for capacity building of our youth and women to be integrated to the mainstream economy.

“We partnered with the NYDA to support our youth to help young people to become job creators and not just job seekers,” she said.

The department has also partnered with the Departments of Trade and Industry and Small Business Development to help people to create vibrant local economies where there is a production value chain.

Tamana was a local stalwart who was a community leader in the area during the apartheid era before she was forcibly relocated to Gugulethu.

Unfortunately, her activist work attracted the attention of the apartheid government, and after being incarcerated on several occasions, her health deteriorated, and she died in 1983 aged 82. –



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