Twenty years of diplomatic relations between China and South Africa a major contributor to local economic and social transformation

South Africa-China Economic and Trade Association (SACETA) on Thursday hosted Chinese and South African delegates for the official release of the 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report of Chinese-Funded Enterprises in South Africa.

At the launch event, Chairman of the Association and General Manager of China Construction Bank Corporation, Zhang Jinguo shared that the report depicts the on-going cohesion between China and South Africa, which entails job creation, social responsibility, local manufacturing, and the preservation of wildlife and natural reserve protection.

Publishing a report of this nature for the first time in South Africa is a massive achievement for the 130 Chinese-funded enterprises that contributes to economic development and livelihood in South African communities. The report highlights how much has been done and also sparks creativity for further bilateral trade and corporate social responsibility. “The report is a window. When you open the book, you open the window. It serves as a good model for SACETA members,” Jinguao said.

Chinese Ambassador in South Africa, HE Lin Songtian, said that the 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report of Chinese-Funded Enterprises in South Africa is a showcase of how Chinese enterprises implement the common values of friendship and justice that exists between the two countries. China has been SA’s biggest trade partner for 9 years and bilateral trade for the first quarter of 2018 amounted to 33.2 billion USD.

There are many factors that point to a mutually beneficial commitment. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) took place in Beijing this year, while South Africa hosted the 10th annual BRICS Summit. Furthermore, China’s top 5 financial institutions have branches in South Africa.

Songtian believes that the two countries are in a season of embracing new historic opportunities, with special consideration of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s vision for South Africa to attract domestic and foreign investment. The Chinese sentiment maintains that this is indeed a win-win cooperation.

Going forward, Dr Miriam Altman, Commissioner of National Planning Commission believes that the National Development Plan 2030 (NDP) relies heavily on the existing Africa-China relationship. “We need to seek more balanced trade, increase tourism prospects, and give fair attention to education and skills training, not forsaking deeper cooperation in innovation,” Altman concluded.