SA, Kazakhstan to strengthen ties

8 October 2013

South Africa and Kazakhstan will be looking to strengthen their ties when Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim hosts Kazakhstan’s deputy foreign minister, Kairat Sarybay, in Pretoria on Thursday.

Sarybay will be in South Africa on a one-day working visit, during which he will co-chair the 3rd round of inter-governmental consultations between the two countries

Top of the agenda, according to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, will be a review of progress on draft agreements to be signed during the planned state visit of the president of Kazakhstan in December.

South Africa and Kazakhstan’s interests overlap in areas including trade, the production and collaborative marketing of strategic minerals, technology exchanges, machine production, as well as oil procurement for South Africa.

Total trade between South Africa and Kazakhstan has been fluctuating, but has remained in South Africa’s favour since 2009. It increased from R44-million in 2009 to R137-million in 2010, dropped to R88-million in 2011 and increased to R90-million in 2012.

Exports increased from R42-million in 2009 to R101-million in 2010 compared to imports of R2-million in 2009 and R36-million in 2010.

In September 2009, South Africa’s second micro-satellite, SumbandilaSat, was launched from Kazakhstan.

Before a blast of solar radiation put it out of commission by damaging its on-board computer in July 2011, SumbandilaSat delivered over 1 000 very usable, cloud-free images, and became well-known by the amateur radio satellite society worldwide for the excellent results from its amateur radio payload.

Denel Spaceteq, the newly launched space engineering unit of aerospace and defence manufacturer Denel, has started the initial work on South Africa’s third low-orbit satellite, a multispectral, high-resolution earth observation satellite called EO-Sat1.

SAnews.gov.za and SAinfo reporter