Update to FCO memorandum on UK-South Africa
This document refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office's memorandum for the inquiry of 30 September 2003.
Paragraph 3. Elections
President Mbeki announced on 9 February that
the 2004 general election would take place on 14 April. A short
sitting of Parliament will follow the election to appoint the
President and his Cabinet. The new President will be inaugurated
on 27 April, ten years to the day after the end of apartheid and
the 1994 general election.
Paragraph 9. Development Partnership
Hilary Benn announced in January 2004 that DfID's
programme of work in the middle-income countries of Southern Africa
(South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland) would reduce from
£35 million in 2004-05 to £25 million in 2005-06, in
compliance with DfID's commitment to spend 90% of its resources
in low-income countries by that year. The EU development budget
for South Africa is set at around EUR120 million per year until
2006. DfID will contribute some £16 million per year to the
EU's programme in South Africa.
Paragraph 10. Peace Support Partnership
Exercise AFRICAN SHIELD, a UK/South Africa joint
Command Post Peace Support Operation took place from 6-26 November
2003. Around 850 personnel drawn from both countries participated
and it was the largest ever bilateral military exercise on South
African soil. The objective of the exercise was to practise the
command and control of a peace support operation in Africa. The
exercise scenario concerned a fictional country abutting South
Africa, riven by civil war, needing a Chapter seven mandated coalition
of the willing to turn a fragile cease fire agreement into a permanent
peace. For the British side it was a chance to hone skills developed
in Sierra Leone, the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq and to share
these skills with a South African military which has already conducted
peace support work in Lesotho, the DRC and Burundi. The exercise
was a model which afforded scope for the South Africans to provide
a reciprocal transfer of expertise.
Paragraph 12. EU/South Africa Trade Agreement
Since the original memorandum, three more European
Union members have ratified the bilateral Trade, Co-operation
and Development Agreement (TDCA) with South Africa, bringing the
total to 14. South Africa has not yet done so. The UK ratified
the Agreement in early 2003. The TDCA has an unspecified duration.
Paragraph 18. Zimbabwe
The issue of Zimbabwe's continued suspension
from the Councils of the Commonwealth dominated the agenda of
the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Abuja between
5 and 8 December 2003. President Mbeki argued strongly in favour
of Zimbabwe's readmittance, but was supported by only a small
number of other countries. Commonwealth Heads of Government finally
agreed, by consensus, to maintain indefinitely Zimbabwe's suspension.
The decision was made after a committee of six Commonwealth leaders
(Australia, South Africa, Jamaica, Canada, India and Mozambique)
had considered the Commonwealth's approach to Zimbabwe.
The Prime Minister and President Mbeki had discussions
during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Following Zimbabwe's decision to withdraw from
the Commonwealth, President Mbeki visited Harare on 18 December.
He had two meetings with Mugabe and one with opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai. Following those discussions, President Mbeki
indicated that a formal process of dialogue between ZANU (PF)
and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would
shortly start and that an agreement between the parties could
soon be announced. According to the MDC, that process of formal
dialogue has yet to begin.
Paragraph 34. AU Peace and Security
The centrepiece of the AU-NEPAD Peace and Security
Agenda (APSA) is the AU Common African Defence and Security Policy.
Implementation at regional and continental levels should lead
to a defence and security architecture, including the establishment
of an African Standby Force. The protocol to establish the AU
Peace and Security Council came into force in December 2003 after
being ratified by 27 of the 53 member states. Its mandate will
include promotion of peace and security on the continent, peace-making
and peace-building interventions, co-ordination of efforts to
prevent international terrorism, developing a common defence policy
and promoting democratic practices as part of efforts for preventing
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
LETTER TO THE PARLIAMENTARY RELATIONS AND
DEVOLUTION DEPARTMENT, FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE, FROM THE
SECOND CLERK OF THE COMMITTEE, 25 FEBRUARY 2004
Thank you for the supplementary memorandum on
South Africa, which has now been circulated to the Committee.
Following its visit, the Committee have asked me to request clarification
on two further issues related to its inquiry:
1. Could you provide further details of the
2. What will be the implications of DfID's
re-prioritisation of assistance to middle-income countries in
Southern Africa for the two projects seen by the Committee in
Soweto and Alexandra.
Were it possible to receive a reply to these
two points by Wednesday 10 March, I would be most grateful.
Second Clerk of the Committee
LETTER FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY AND DEVOLUTION
DEPARTMENT, FCO, TO THE SECOND CLERK
Thank you for your letter of 25 February seeking
clarification of two points that arose during the Committee's
visit to South Africa.
The British Undergraduate Fellowship Training
Scheme (BRUFS) began in 1987 with the aim of sending young, disadvantaged
black South Africans to the UK for their final year of schooling,
followed by a degree course. Unlike the present Chevening Scholarship
Scheme, which sends South Africans for a maximum of one year (on
a post-graduate course or to gain a post-graduate qualification)
beneficiaries of BRUFS typically stayed in the UK for four to
five years. The last scholars under this scheme returned to South
Africa in 1994. The scheme was a programme which aimed at giving
training to those disadvantaged under apartheid.
On the question of future funding for two projects
visited by the Committee, I will deal with each separately. UK
support to the HIV/AIDS Hospice in Soweto is funded from the Small
Grants Scheme (DfID funding administered by FCO). Funding has
been in place for the past five years, and will continue in the
coming financial year. But the future of the Small Grants Scheme
beyond March 2005 is uncertain. We will be working with DfID to
look for funding and will encourage the project to look for other
sources of funding to achieve sustainability.
The twelve-month secondment of Detective Superintendent
Steve Dennis to the South African Police Service will end as planned
this month. DfID is re-examining its approach to work in the justice
field, within the wider context of involvement in Middle Income
Countries. However, DfID is planning to continue working in the
justice field in South Africa, and will be working, inter alia,
on violence against women and children.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office