23 February 2011
South African businesses should take advantages of opportunities in Southern Sudan as soon as possible, with the new state set to gain independence on 11 July, says Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
Briefing journalists in Cape Town on Tuesday, Sisulu said the drive for regional integration on the continent would remain a key focus of the government.
Sisulu, who chairs the government’s International Co-operation, Trade and Security cluster, said South African firms were already involved in the reconstruction of Southern Sudan.
While SABMiller had already built a US$30-million brewery in Southern Sudan, which had been in operation for over a year, consulting engineers at KV3 were assisting in refurbishing government buildings such as Juba Hospital.
Added to this, South African logistics and resource company Arelco had been appointed to assist with the development of livestock in the new state, while telecoms operator MTN was also involved in investments in the region, said Sisulu.
She said key opportunities in the new state were in the fields of agriculture, minerals and energy, infrastructure development, information technology and telecoms, water purification and supply, as well as forestry and banking.
Sisulu’s call for more companies to enter Southern Sudan comes as the South African government continues its assistance in the roll-out of five priority trade corridors in the region.
The trade corridors are: phase two of the Mozambique Spatial Development Initiative (SDI) programme; phase two of the Tanzania SDI; phase two of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) SDI; phase one of the Angola-Namibia-South Africa SDI; and phase one of the Zimbabwe SDI.
Sisulu said the Mtwara corridor in Tanzania had already secured investors.