Item 746 - Media Statement on the State Visit by President Mandela to Canada on 23-25 September 1998

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Media Statement on the State Visit by President Mandela to Canada on 23-25 September 1998


  • 1998-09-23 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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South African Government Information Website

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State visit to Canada

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  • English

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President Nelson Mandela will visit Canada from 23 - 25 September 1998 at the invitation of the Right Honourable Romeo LeBlanc, Governor General.

During his visit the President will:

- address a Joint Sitting of the Canadian Parliament on 24 September 1998. He became the only non-head following his release from prison;

- become the first foreign leader to be awarded the Companion of the Order of Canada by the Governor General at a State Banquet in his honour on 24 September 1998;

- unveil a human rights plaque in honour of Mr John Humphrey, a principal architect of the UN Declaration on Human Rights;

- address a rally to mark the launching of the Canadian Friends of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund on Friday 25 September 1998 at the Toronto SkyDome. Dubbed as "Mandela and the Children", this event is expected to draw about 40,000 children, and will be covered live on CBC Newsworld. The President's visit will present an opportunity to thank and salute Canadians for their particular involvement in the anti-apartheid campaign and for their ongoing support during South Africa's transition, and to consolidate the friendly diplomatic, political and economic relations between the two countries. It will be one of the last few state visits he undertakes before he retires from politics.

The opportunity will also be utilised for bilateral discussions of a possible framework for future foreign policy co-operation and consultations.

The following Agreements and memoranda will be signed during the visit :

- Trade and Investment Cooperation arrangement;

- Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Co-operation in Sport;

- Declaration of Intent on Negotiations on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition;

- Letter of Intent between the South African Government and the Canadian International Development Research Centre.

Canada and South Africa share warm bilateral relations, including full diplomatic representation and shared interests in many international fora.

Trade between Canada and South Africa has steadily, and in many instances dramatically increased since the lifting of all sanctions in 1994. South Africa enjoys a favourable balance of trade with Canada and exports in 1997 further increased by some 8 percent. In 1996, Canadian exports to South Africa amounted to $214 million and her imports amounted to $440 million.

In the same year, Canadian Direct Investment into South Africa was $154 million. South Africa and Canada signed bilateral agreements on Foreign Investment Protection and the Avoidance of Double Taxation, of which the letter came into force in 1997. The total value of trade between the two countries reached almost $1 billion last year.

When in Toronto, President Mandela will address a Canada-South Africa Business Summit hosted by the South African Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel, on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry. This will be attended by amongst others a large South African business delegation including Mr Vusi Khanyile, CEO of Thebe Investments, Canadian business institutions and sponsors.

President Mandela will be accompanied by:

- Minister of Health, Dr Nkosazana Zuma;

- Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel;

- Deputy minister of Safety & Security, Joe Matthews;

- Director-general in the Office of the President, Professor Jakes Gerwel;

- Foreign Affairs Deputy Director-General for Europe & the Americas, Mrs Thutukile Mazibuko.

Enquiries : D Moyo, (613) - 850 2503 S Makena, (613) - 290 3671 E Bitzer, (514) 594 4838




The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is the primary channel for official Canadian development assistance to other countries. CIDA's South Africa programme focuses on four key areas, namely restructuring of government institutions, human resource development, strengthening of civil society, and economic development. Their total budget for the present programme in South Africa (over the next three to five years) is about $60 million.

The following are the most important projects currently running in South Africa:

- Policy Support Project ($11.1 million over four years). This project has provided technical assistance and other inputs to policy formulation activities related to macro-economic, education, and public administration policy. Its primary focus at this time is the provision of assistance to South Africa for the restructuring of Public Sector organisations, constitutional development, and the establishment of linkages between Canadian and South African provinces.

- Student Loan Fund ($4 million). This project entails a contribution of $4 million to the Student Loan Fund currently being administered by the Tertiary Education Fund of South Africa (TEFSA). These funds have now been transferred to TEFSA.

- Local Elections Support ($1.6 million). This project is funding the implementation and operation of a National Local Elections Information Centre. With the finalisation of local elections, the project has ceased its operations and is currently in its termination stage.

- Educational Sector Management Project ($7 million) - technical assistance and other inputs to the Ministry of Education for the restructuring of systems of Education management. The project will also address issues of school governance, ownership and financing.

- Constitutional and Legal Development Project ($4.3 million) - a linkage between the Canadian Bar Association and the Legal Resources Centre in South Africa for constitutional litigation development. (Charter of Rights Project)

- Civil Society Capacity Development Project ($3.2 million) - funding for a series of small projects being undertaken by Canadian and South African NGO/CBOs on a partnership basis. Eleven sub-projects are fully operational.

- Migration Policy Project ($3 million) - a joint project of Queens University of Canada and IDASA for the research and formulation of migration and social policy.

- Governance/Public Administration Project ($9.8 million) - a continuation of the present support being provided under the Policy Support project, contracted to the IDRC for implementation and concentrating on federal-provincial fiscal arrangements and Canadian legislative assembly structure and operation. Also facilitates the twinning programme of Canadian and SA provinces.

- Mining and Energy Policy Project ($3 million) - assistance in formulation of mineral policy in South Africa drawing on Canadian experience and expertise to make the SA mining sector more competitive in the global market.

- National Qualifications Framework Project ($6 million) - assistance for the establishment and operation of the South African Qualifications Authority and the planned National Qualifications Framework in the education sector.

- Justice Linkage Project (Justice System Support Project) ($5 million) - a linkage programme between Canadian and South African Ministries of Justice and broader legal communities in the ongoing transformation of the justice system in SA and focusing on the provision of training assistance for the judiciary and possibly paralegal organizations, policy development, and related research within the justice system.

- Technical Assistance Facility Project ($3.2 million) - technical assistance in specific areas provided to line ministries within South Africa for the provision of short-term technical assistance from the Canadian public sector. Assistance limited to a maximum of $250,000 per request.

- Information Technology Strategy Project ($3.5 million) - the provision of Canadian technical assistance from the private sector for the provision of an industrial strategy for the sector.

- National Co-operative Support Project ($5 million) - designed to support the development of small and medium sized enterprises in SA through assistance to the newly formed National Co-operatives Association (NCA). IDRC sponsors a broad range of research and policy-making activities in SA:

-- Democratic Governance - providing financial and technical assistance to the democratic movement during pre-election negotiations and Constitutional talks; promoting democratisation at national, regional, local and sectorial levels.

-- Economic restructuring - partially funding the creation of the Macroeconomics Research Group (MERG), which has formulated post-apartheid economic policies; developing and implementing a national industrial strategy.

-- Environment - Formulating a national environmental and sustainable development plan of action; developing a national programme in which military resources will be converted to serve environmental protection purposes.

-- Education - Establishing, with the support of CIDA, the Centre for Education Policy Development (CEPD) to develop policies aimed at restructuring apartheid education and training systems.

-- Gender Equality - Ensuring that women's issues, needs and perspectives are included in the Constitutional provisions.

-- Science and Technology - assessing existing performance and identifying new, more effective directions for science policy.

-- Building a New Civil Service - CIDA and IDRC are helping build professional competence in this key area.

-- Land Reform and Rural Development - Developing rural land ownership policies which respect residents' rights and guarantee protection of the environment. Since 1988, IDRC has supported research activities for SA aimed at eliminating racial discrimination.



Bilateral Trade between South Africa & Canada Trade is growing. Bilateral trade has expanded by 182% since 1993. In the six months to June 1998, imports from Canada grew by 60%, reflecting a full recovery from the trade slump in 1996. South Africa's exports to Canada grew by 17%. A bilateral trade target approaching $1-bn is not unreasonable for the full year of 1998. The trade balance is firmly in favour of South Africa. (Although the opposite situation is shown by the discredited trade statistics published by South Africa's customs authorities).

Canada is a significant market for particular products Platinum minerals, fresh and preserved fruit and fruit juices and wine all have solid markets in Canada. In addition, South Africa is exporting an ever-widening range of products to Canada. This is shown clearly in the increasing length of the detailed lists of South African imports produced by Statistics Canada.

South Africa is Canada's leading trade partner in Sub-Saharan Africa - 41% of Canada's exports to Sub-Saharan Africa go to South Africa. 36% of Canada's imports from the region come from the country. South Africa is best positioned for partnerships with Canadian businesses who are planning to establish economic relationships with Africa.

Part of South Africa's aim, as it moves to re-position itself in the world economy after the lifting of sanctions in 1994, is to increase its exports of manufactured and processed goods. There are signs that a greater volume of such goods are being imported into Canada than in the past. There are also hopeful indications that technology transfers and direct investments will expand business links between the two economies, creating jobs in both.

Both South Africa and Canada are extremely reliant on raw materials - minerals, agriculture and forestry products - both are trying to diversify their economies and move up the 'value chain'. This common strategy is suggestive of new areas of co-operation and learning.

General Preferential Tariff system.

Canada on 6 May 1994 granted South Africa the benefits of its GPT. The GPT reduces the rate of duty paid on eligible South African imports to Canada by at least 33% as well as reducing tariff costs to Canadian manufacturers. Imports of textiles, apparel, footwear and some steel products are excluded from the GPT.

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Acquisition method: From website ; Source: South African Government Information Website. Accessioned on 14/12/06 by Helen Joannides




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