President Jacob Zuma has today, 23 June 2017, concluded a successful visit to the Kingdom of Swaziland, where he led the South African delegation at the 5th Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) Summit Heads of State and Government.
The purpose of the Summit was for the Heads of State and Government to consider the Report of the council, on the progress made on the implementation of the Roadmap to reinvigorate the SACU Work Programme endorsed by Heads of State and Government on 12th November 2015, in Windhoek, Namibia.
The summit endorsed the Work Programme based on the outcomes of the 3rd Ministerial Retreat which outlines detailed activities, key deliverables and the timelines within which the proposed activities will be undertaken. Focusing on the following:
The review and development of a suitable architecture for tariff-setting, rebates, duty drawbacks and trade remedies;
Review of the revenue Sharing Formula and the long-term management of the Common Revenue Pool;
The establishment of Stabilisation Fund and exploring the feasibility of a financing Mechanism for regional industrialisation;
Identifying financing options for regional projects and
The development of public policy interventions to promote and align industrial development and value chains.
The summit also focused much attention on the negotiations for the review of the 2002 SACU Agreement, to facilitate the development of SACU economies.
Also emphasised during the summit was the common challenges experienced by SACU economies that can be better dealt with in an integrated manner regionally.
The Summit agreed on the establishment of two Ministerial Task Teams on Trade and Industry and on Finance with their Terms of Reference, to facilitate the urgent implementation of the Work Programme.
President Zuma appealed to the member states of the SACU to advance intra-trade relations in the region, saying "it will help ease the burden of poverty and unemployment facing many people across the countries that are part of the union".
"I would like to like to also thank the Council of Ministers for having laid the foundation to facilitate the development of SACU economies, SACU needs to move beyond its colonial history and architecture into an arrangement that facilitate growth of the region" said President Zuma.
Botswana will be the Chair of SACU effective from July 2017 to 14 July 2018, taking over from the Kingdom of Swaziland.
President Zuma was accompanied by Dr Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry and Mr Sifiso Buthelezi, the Deputy Minister of Finance.
Issued by: The Presidency