The Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders have applauded the South African government for measures they put in place to deal with the recent attacks on foreign nationals.
Seven people were killed and hundreds displaced in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng over the last few weeks.
“While condemning the attacks, the Summit commended the measures that the Government of South Africa has put in place and resolved to work together to deal with the situation and ensure it does not recur,” the leaders said in their communique after their extra-ordinary summit that was held in Zimbabwe on Wednesday.
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President Jacob Zuma, who led the South African delegation, had used the summit to also brief the regional leaders on the attacks.
“South Africa was given an opportunity to brief the Summit and explain the causes of the attacks, as well as the South African Government’s efforts to arrest the situation to prevent further loss of life,” said President Zuma in a statement after the Summit.
The Extra-Ordinary SADC Summit considered the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap and the revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (2015-2020) as mandated at the 34th Ordinary SADC Summit held in August 2014, in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
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In this light, the leaders approved these two blueprint documents on regional economic integration and industrialisation during the Extra-Ordinary Summit.
The SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap is anchored on three pillars which is industrialisation, competitiveness and regional integration, and premised on a three-phase long perspective covering 2015-2063.
The Industrialisation Strategy is thus aligned to the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
The Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP 2015-2020) will guide the implementation of SADC programmes in the next five years.
It will also focus on four priority areas; industrial development and market integration; infrastructure in support of regional integration, peace and security cooperation, and special programmes of a regional dimension.
President Zuma stated that the discussions at the summit were cordial and that the aforementioned documents were approved by consensus.
“As one of the largest economies in the region, South Africa has a role to play in the implementation of the SADC industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap, which aims to better coordinate economic relations in the region. Regional integration and industrialisation must benefit all citizens of SADC,” said President Zuma.
The summit underscored the critical importance of infrastructure in support of industrialisation and the need to explore appropriate funding mechanisms to support the implementation of the Industrialisation Strategy.
The leaders have directed the secretariat to finalise the development of a costed Action Plan to facilitate the urgent implementation of the Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap.
President Zuma mentioned the importance of mineral beneficiation which would lead to job creation and enhance economic development in the region.
“Infrastructure development is also an important part of industrialisation and contributes to regional integration. SADC is currently integrating with other two regional blocs; COMESA and EAC. Thus, SADC has indeed become better coordinated,” said President Zuma.
According to the communique the leaders noted progress on the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite initiative and the launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) by the Tripartite Summit, which is scheduled to take place in June this year.
“In this regard, the Summit noted the draft Declaration Launching Phase II Negotiations for the TFTA and endorsed the principles to guide SADC in the finalisation of the Declaration.”