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Date: 08 May 2012
Title: Motlanthe invites Germany to invest in SA's infrastructure
Pretoria - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe opened the 7th South Africa - Germany Bi-National Commission in Berlin on Tuesday by extending an invitation to the European nation to invest in South Africa's massive state-led infrastructure drive.
"We are targeting a range of areas, including roads, rail, ports, water infrastructure and telecommunications. To this end we wish to invite the government of Germany and German cooperates to participate in this important initiative," Motlanthe said in his opening remarks at the BNC.
In his State of the Nation Address in February, President Jacob Zuma announced a massive infrastructure development plan. It lists 17 strategic integrated projects that cut across rail, road, schools and hospitals construction. The projects cover a range of economic and social infrastructure across all nine provinces with an emphasis on poorer regions.
Motlanthe also noted that although the commission was sitting during resultant socio-economic challenges, such as the economic crisis, the two countries shared similar goals.
"Both our countries share the goals of enhancing peace and security; good governance; rule of law; democracy and human rights; economic development; and indeed, dealing with the challenges posed by climate change, as well as finding new sources of energy." he said.
To address these challenges, and to meet their goals, constant monitoring and detailed analysis so as to find practical solutions are required, he said.
While the economic crises in Europe and other parts of the world have had a ripple effect around the globe, the Deputy President noted that despite the careful stewardship of the South African economy, exports declined massively in the period 2008 to 2009.
"However, we are pleased that our trade with Germany is approximating levels previously reached before the crisis of 2008."
The BNC, established in 1996, coordinates bilateral relations between the two countries in various areas such as science and technology, environment and arts and culture.
The meeting discussed new issues such as renewable energy and education and training and assessed progress made since the last Bi-national Commission which was held in South Africa in 2010.
The meeting also touched on global issues such as the Eurozone and problems facing the African continent such as the African Union's post conflict and reconstruction development programme. - BuaNews