Angolan delegation visits KZN
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize (r) talks to Benguela Province's Governor HE Armando Da Cruz Neto and
Angolan Ambassador to South Africa Ms Josefina Diakite during a game drive at Hluhluwe Nature Reserve.
Photo: Reinhardt Hartzenberg
Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize has committed his government to be at the forefront of all efforts aimed at driving Africa’s economic integration. He was speaking in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve at the welcoming ceremony for a high-powered delegation from Angola led by His Excellency General Armando da Cruz Neto, the Governor of the Province of Benguela.
The delegation is scheduled to visit Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone; they will tour the Durban harbour, Agri-Zone and Cargo Terminal at the Dube Trade Port and the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium.
During the visit to the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone, Dr Mkhize said Richards Bay's port will be instrumental to the success of the coal mining operation in Limpopo as a means of export, and in turn is very strategic for trade throughout Africa.
Dr Mkhize said this will be achieved through massive investment by government in upgrading the port together with the Durban Port, making KwaZulu-Natal a key player in the import-export of goods into and out of the continent. Government has also announced major investment in the upgrade of rail transport systems, which will link all the provinces of the country with the rest of Africa.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize and Angolan Ambassador to South Africa Ms Josefina Diakite (centre) pictured with the visiting delegation from Angola. Photo: Reinhardt Hartzenberg
“The buzzword these days is Africa’s economic integration. As far as we are concerned – the next phase of Africa’s economic integration will be speeded up by infrastructure development.”
“It is worth noting that at the 18th African Union Summit, African leaders endorsed the launch of the Programme for Infrastructure Development. This programme invites foreign governments, international organisations and private sector organisations to take an active part in Africa’s infrastructure development.”
“As the provincial government we want to strengthen co-operation with the Province of Benguela as we start a new chapter in the African history.”
“We say South Africa and KwaZulu-Natal in particular should always be your preferred partner. We have launched the Infrastructure Revolution which we believe will change the face of Kwa-Zulu-Natal Province for many more years to come. The overall government infrastructure expenditure exceeds R200 billion over the next seven years.”
“The infrastructure development programme involves road construction, air-freight, rail, provision of water and sanitation, services - electrification and a major focus on the maritime industry.”
“We are encouraging partnership between the public and the private sectors to maximise investments and grow the economy together using the infrastructure as a catalyst.”
“During your stay in KZN, you will interact with representatives from government, civil society and a broad range of organisations. Importantly, as government we believe that as part of our search for solutions for Africa we need to encourage twinning of cities, provinces and academic institutions and partnership amongst the business fraternity.
“We are encouraging our institutions to collaborate with academics across the continent and to host regular conferences to share ideas and exchange academic staff and students and help to create an African identity of academic excellence across the boundaries.”
“We are using sports and cultural exchange programmes to strengthen the people-to- people relations.”
Benguela Province's governor HE Armando da Cruz Neto said Angola and South Africa have a history of working together, having fought and defeated colonialism and apartheid. “Now, our next challenge is to pool our resources to fight hunger and poverty in the continent,” he said.
The delegation also got a chance to interact with nature during a visit to the KZN Wildlife run Hluhluwe Game reserve.
The Benguela government is particularly keen to learn from the Province's anti-poaching activities and the introduction of extinct wildlife species.
KZN Office of the Premiere