Fransman winds up Latin America tour

12 September 2013

South African International Relations Deputy Minister Marius Fransman arrived in Bogota, Colombia on Wednesday for the final leg of his four-nation trip to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Fransman’s tour, geared at strengthening political, social and economic relations, has already taken in Peru, Ecuador and Cuba.

On Tuesday, he concluded a two-day working visit to Cuba, where he co-chaired the 10th South Africa-Cuba Joint Consultative Mechanism – established in 2001 to coordinate cooperation between the two countries – with his Cuban counterpart, Marcelino Medina.

According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Fransman thanked Cuba for its ongoing support for South Africa through joint programmes in health, labour, social development, housing and infrastructure.

Cuba has sent doctors, engineers and technical experts to South Africa as part of various programmes, and over 1 400 South African medical students recently underwent training on Cuban scholarships.

The department said a further batch of medical students would arrive in Cuba for training in September. “The number of South African students will grow to well over 2 000,” the department said in a statement this week.

On Monday, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa signed an agreement with her Cuban counterpart, Ines Maria Chapman Waugh, that will see Cuban engineers assisting South Africa in the area of geo-hydrology in rural and disadvantaged areas.

SAnews.gov.za and SAinfo reporter