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Südafrikanische Botschaft
Tiergartenstr. 18, 10785 Berlin
Tel.: +49-30-22073-0
Fax: +49-30-22073-190

Botschaft, Topnews, Presse

23. Dezember 2016

Seasons Greetings on behalf of the Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa

Dear fellow South Africans and dearest friends of South Africa, as we reflect on the preceding year, permit me to express my appreciation for your support as we strive to implement the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP), namely to build a resilient economy while meeting our international obligations, whilst also contributing to the development of the Southern region and the African continent at large.

On 11 October 2016, I was honoured to present my letters of credence to President Joachim Gauck, as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of South Africa to the Federal Republic of Germany. I wish to convey my personal and heartfelt condolences to the President, Government and people of Germany for the terrorist attack that occurred on Monday evening, 19 December 2016, when a truck ploughed into a Christmas market in the heart of Berlin, killing over 10 people and injuring nearly 50. The South African Government condemns in the strongest terms terrorist attacks in any form and from whichever quarter. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased and we wish all the injured speedy recoveries.

Reflecting on the achievements of the past year, I recall the successful outcome of the 9th South Africa-Germany Bi-National Commission recently convened in November 2016, an important milestone in further strengthening and consolidating the bilateral relations between our respective countries.

This year the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa was the organising host of the Commonwealth Remembrance Day in Germany. The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa therefore took great pride in organising this Commonwealth Act of Remembrance outside South African borders and thereby remembering those that gave their lives so that we may live in freedom.

In celebration of International Nelson Mandela Day the Embassy hosted a fundraising gala dinner on 14 July 2016, at the Mövenpick Hotel in Berlin. We were delighted that the event was a resounding success, raising 14 000 €, which was donated to the Bahnhofsmission and to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

From a foreign policy perspective, we have strengthened our relations with countries and formations of the South without negating our important ties with strategic formations of the North. In this context, South Africa signed an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union (EU) in June 2016 with a view to leverage increased market access for our products in to the region.

This however augurs well with our bilateral relations strategy which focusses mainly on the promotion of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), tourism and market access with a view to address the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Our economic diplomacy seeks to contribute towards the realisation of the NDP vision and by extension the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The most recent available statistics indicate that up until September 2016, 197 248 German tourists visited South Africa. Every tourist that visits South Africa contributes an estimated five employment opportunities to the South African economy.

There are many achievements and future priorities that I could still elaborate on, however, allow me to once again express my gratitude for your support. We are looking forward to working with you in 2017 to register more achievements in the implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy.  

As this is my very first Christmas in Berlin, I will cherish the memories of drinking Glühwein and eating Lebkuchen, whilst visiting the cities many beautiful Weihnachtsmärkte on crisp winter evenings. I wish to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a happy festive season and a prosperous new year.

With my warmest wishes,

Amb S Sizani, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and of the Republic of South Africa to the Federal Republic of Germany

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