22 May 2013
South Africa offers good investment prospects for countries like Canada, President Jacob Zuma said in Cape Town on Tuesday during the state visit of Canadian Governor-General David Johnston.
Zuma said he hoped that Canada would take advantage of infrastructure projects on the continent, as well as get more involved in Africa’s mining sector.
And as South Africa prepares to launch the South African Development Agency, Zuma said the agency could benefit from support of the Canadian International Development Agency, adding that countries from the North and the South had the unique opportunity to work together to change the lives of millions of Africans.
Zuma said relations between South Africa and Canada were friendly and co-operative, rooted as they were in the anti-apartheid struggle, when Canada had argued strongly for a non-sexist, non-racist society.
The two countries had also worked closely in multi-lateral associations, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, which investigates serious transgressions of human rights
Johnston said he and Zuma held discussions on a number of issues, including the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope. He congratulated South Africa for winning the bid to co-host the SKA.
“Here you have succeeded in bringing the best talent into this country, the collaboration of many nations, for a very ambitious project of seeing further into space than we have ever seen before, and this from South Africa,” Johnston said.
“Inspired by this major project, President Zuma and I also discussed the prospects of closer ties between Canada and South Africa in science, technology and education.”
Johnston said the success of the Canadian-designed Gautrain demonstrated both the quality of South African infrastructure and the strength and expertise of Canadian technology.
There were several areas in which South Africa and Canada could co-operate, including mining, infrastructure, agriculture and education, he said, adding that the success of Africa was critical to the success of the world.
“This remarkable experiment of bringing diversity together and reinforcing democracy that we have seen in South Africa from last 19 years is inspiring all of us … and we will be with you all the way as you bring the African continent together to extend those values and achievements that you have already demonstrated so well here,” he said.