Media briefing by Presidential Spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, on President Cyril Ramaphosa's public programme
Good afternoon and welcome to members of the media and my colleagues.
Thank you for joining me at this briefing today where I will provide a brief update on key engagements on the President’s diary over the coming days.
I would like to begin with tomorrow, Thursday, 27 October when the President will lead an oversight visit by government to the Emfuleni Local Municipality in Gauteng.
This municipality incorporates such areas as Vereeniging, Vanderbijlpark, Sharpeville, Sebokeng, Boipatong and others. The economically and socially important Vaal River also flows through this area.
The President and a number of Ministers as well provincial and municipal leadership will assess progress in improvements to service delivery, as well as challenges that remain.
The municipality has faced difficulties in the provision of water services, leading the Department of Water and Sanitation to intervene to upgrade critical bulk pipelines and pump stations infrastructure.
The President’s visit takes place in the context of the District Development Model (DDM), which aims to improve cooperative governance through integrated intergovernmental planning and budgeting.
It’s also a fulfilment of a commitment made by the President that he would visit all provinces as part of the “Leave No One Behind”* District Development Model series of Presidential Izimbizo.
The President will visit a water treatment plant, a waste water treatment plant and a highway pump station before meeting with stakeholders in the area.
A media pool arrangement will be in place and the event will be streamed across various government social media platforms.
Rugby World Cup final
Tomorrow – Friday, 27 October – the President will travel to Paris, France, to support the Springboks in their quest on Saturday the 28th of October to retain the Rugby World Cup Webb Ellis Trophy.
Of course, the President is really looking to be invited onto the pitch a second time by Siya Kolisi to help lift the Cup for the world champions. This will be the first time any country will hold 4 Rugby World Cup titles.
The President wishes the Springboks and the All Blacks well for this showcase which we hope will be memorable for the in-stadium audience and the global media audience.
Programme in Parliament
On Wednesday, 1 November, the President will attend Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s delivery of the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement – or MTBPS - to Parliament.
The MTBPS sets government priorities and goals; forecasts the macroeconomic trajectory, and projects the fiscal framework over the next three years by outlining spending and revenue estimates, among others.
On Thursday, 2 November, the President will respond to Questions for Oral Reply in the National Assembly.
The President will engage with Members of Parliament on:
- the accountability of the South African Reserve Bank to Parliament;
- Progress in the deliberations of the Remuneration Review Commission for the 2023/2024 period;
- Protection of women and children against violence,
- Implications of the insights gained from the Census 2022 for Government’s macro-economic policy, as well as
- Fiscal discipline within government.
20th AGOA Forum
President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Friday, 03 November 2023 host the 20th AGOA Forum at Nasrec, Johannesburg.
The AGOA Forum serves as a vital platform for the United States to build on the success of the Africa Leaders’ Summit and further enhance the economic partnership with African states, under the aegis of the United States’ African Growth and Opportunity Act that was approved by the US Congress in May 2000.
During the Forum, President Joe Biden and President Cyril Ramaphosa will engage in discussions on shared priorities, reaffirm the Administration’s commitment to the continent, and explore opportunities to make AGOA more transformative as they deepen trade and investment relations with Sub-Saharan African countries.
The gathering will bring together governments from the United States and AGOA-eligible countries, along with representatives from key regional economic organizations, the private sector, civil society, and labour.
Over the course of the event, participants will delve into conversations about strengthening trade and investment ties between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on promoting resilient, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth and development.
The AGOA Forum will also feature the 'Made in Africa Exhibition,' showcasing regional value chains on the continent, highlighting the diverse and growing industries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
AGOA, which has played a crucial role in promoting the export of African goods to the United States, remains a key driver of economic growth and development. An extension of AGOA beyond 2025 is expected to promote inward investment in Africa and provide mutual benefits to the United States and African countries. This extension will further support the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), covering 54 countries and 1.4 billion people.
Benefits of AGOA for South Africa:
- In 2022, South African exports under the Most Favoured Nation system accounted for the largest share and export value of the country's total exports to the US market, steadily growing from US$5.6 billion in 2011 to US$12.7 billion in 2022.
- Trade under AGOA accounted for approximately 21% of South Africa's total exports to the United States in 2022, increasing in value from US$2.0 billion in 2021 to US$3.0 billion in 2022.
- South African exports under the Generalised System of Preferences programme dropped significantly, accounting for about 4% of total exports to the US in 2022.
- South Africa enjoyed a trade surplus of $8.0 billion in 2022.
- AGOA exports from South Africa include commodities and value-added products.
- The leading South African exports to the US in 2021 included vehicles, iron and steel, edible fruits, organic chemicals, and precious stones.
- AGOA exports represented 21% of total South African exports in 2022, up from 13% in 2021.
- The decline in AGOA exports can be attributed to various factors, including section 232 tariffs affecting steel and aluminium exports.
- Major AGOA beneficiary sectors for South Africa in 2021 included vehicles, iron and steel, edible fruits, organic chemicals, and precious stones.
- AGOA has been estimated to create numerous jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa, with South Africa benefiting from the creation of 62,395 jobs, both directly and indirectly.
Since its inception in 2000, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has been pivotal in strengthening economic ties and promoting growth and development across the African continent.
AGOA's rigorous eligibility requirements include establishing a market-based economy, upholding the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process.
AGOA has opened up new market opportunities, facilitated economic growth, encouraged economic and political reform, and improved economic relations between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa.
It remains a cornerstone of United States economic policy and commercial engagement with Africa.