Press Releases

Press Releases


Our plan to tackle climate action must leave no-one behind 
Dear Fellow South African, 
We have just returned from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai, known as COP28, where important decisions taken so far will affect the future of our planet.
The discussions at COP28 have significant implications for our country and people. The impact of climate change is a measurable reality in South Africa, with poor, rural communities in particular bearing the brunt. 
While in Dubai, I visited the South Africa pavilion, where I was shown a striking artwork called the Umlibo tapestry. It was made by a group of rural women from Hamburg in the Eastern Cape. Woven in the tapestry are images that tell a story of the impact of climate change on rural coastal communities in the province struggling with extreme weather patterns, declining fish stocks and constrained livelihoods. 
The Umlibo tapestry communicates the urgent and personal impact of climate change on one particular community. There are hundreds, thousands and millions more communities, in South Africa, on the African continent and across the Global South who are being negatively affected by climate-change induced extreme weather. 
A central part of South Africa’s response to this crisis is the Just Energy Transition (JET) Investment Plan 2023-2027, which outlines the actions we need to take and the investments that we need to make to meet our climate targets.
The plan, which we announced at COP27 last year, outlines the path towards reducing the carbon emissions of our energy sector, which is the largest contributor towards South Africa’s total greenhouse gas emissions. 
The plan focuses on investment in electricity infrastructure, new energy vehicles, green hydrogen, skills development and municipal electricity distribution.
It emphasises that this transition must be underpinned by engagement and in partnership with workers, communities, business and civil society. Importantly, the plan also includes interventions to support affected communities, notably in Mpumalanga, where most of our country’s coal-fired power stations are located.
The overriding message we took to COP28 is that our climate commitments will be implemented in a manner that both addresses our current energy crisis and strengthens our efforts to reduce poverty and unemployment. 
Our JET Implementation Plan therefore focuses on expanding investment in transmission networks, investment in new energy vehicles and harnessing the potential of the green hydrogen economy.
Decarbonising our energy sector has become even more urgent in the face of carbon border taxes and other measures being taken by developed economies in the name of fighting climate change. These measures are going to hurt many countries with developing economies, making their exports less competitive and making them bear the economic burden of climate action. It is for these reasons that the South African delegation to COP28 spoke out against these unilateral actions.
As a country, we already have sustainable, measurable and science-driven programmes in place to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. These include a successful renewable energy procurement programme, biodiversity and conservation management, air quality management, as well as successful natural resource management programmes such as Working on Fire, Working for the Coast and Working for Water.
But if we are to implement these and the other actions outlined in the JET Investment Plan we – like all other developing economies – will require massive financial support from those countries whose development has been the primary cause of climate change. The countries that have contributed most to global warming must support those countries that now bear the brunt of its effects.
South Africa expressed its concern that developed economies are still not meeting their obligations to support developing countries with the finance, technology and capacity building needed for effective climate actions. The funding that has been channelled through entities like the Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund has been negligible. 
The operationalisation at COP28 of a fund to help vulnerable countries with loss and damage caused by climate change is a step in the right direction, but it will need substantial funding if it is to fulfil its purpose.
For the transition to lower carbon economies to be just, affected communities cannot live on promises. Workers and communities currently dependent on coal and other fossil fuel industries need viable alternative livelihoods.
As a country in the midst of an energy crisis, we were clear at COP28 that the pace of our just energy transition will be guided by our developmental priorities. Our JET Implementation Plan makes it clear that we can take effective action against climate change while pursuing energy security for all our people.
Even as we confront several challenges, we are clear about the path we must take to tackle climate change and protect our country from its effects. 
In pursuing a measured, realistic and sustainable transition towards a low-carbon economy and society, our foremost priority is that we secure the future of all South Africans and that we leave no-one behind.
With best regards,


Men and boys can break the cycle of violence
Dear Fellow South African,
We mark the start of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children in the shadow of a terrible crime.
Earlier this month, images were circulated on social media of a young male student stabbing his partner, also a student, on the campus of the Peninsula University of Technology.
The fact that the attack happened in broad daylight and in full view of the public, shows that some perpetrators of gender-based violence seemingly do not even care if there are witnesses to their crimes, nor do they fear apprehension.
I commend the students who tried to intervene even as they were threatened, as well as those who stepped in as the alleged perpetrator was being attacked by a crowd. It is significant that other male students attempted to ward off the attacker of the young female student.
One of the reasons gender-based violence continues is that there is a culture of ambivalence among men who see crimes against women and children as a ‘private matter’ or a ‘family matter’. In most cases of gender-based violence, including domestic abuse and sexual violence, the attacker is known to the victim.
It is therefore fitting that the African Union (AU) will convene the 3rd Men’s Conference on Positive Masculinity in Pretoria this week, which will call on men to reject toxic displays of masculinity. South Africa is co-hosting the conference with the AU Chair and President of the Comoros, Azali Assoumani.
The inaugural conference was held in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2021 and the second one was held in Dakar, Senegal in 2022.
For the AU, as it is for our own country, ending gender-based violence is a priority. Discussions are currently underway on the content of an African Convention to End Violence Against Women and Girls, executing a decision of the African Union Summit earlier this year. Once adopted, the convention will be the first continental legal instrument for the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.
As South Africa we are part of the AU Circle of Champions. It is an association of African Heads of State who have committed to implementing programmes at a national and continental levels that promote positive masculinity and encourage more men and boys to be part of the fight against gender-based violence.
We have long maintained that interventions aimed at eradicating gender-based violence in our society must focus on prevention.
If we are to raise a nation of men who are positive role models, who take care of their families, who exhibit positive masculinity and who would not countenance hurting a woman or a girl, we must work with young men.
As South Africa we adopted a national strategy to combat gender-based violence. One of the pillars of our National Strategic Plan to Combat Gender-Based Violence and Femicide deals with prevention. We have been engaging with civil society, academia and researchers, traditional leaders, youth organisations, the faith community and the private sector on the issue of prevention.
A number of initiatives are underway across a range of sectors that are providing space for young and older men to discuss notions of masculinity. Men are called on to critically consider their own prejudices, preconceptions and chauvinisms that abet gender-based violence.
A number of government departments have interventions in place that are focused on promoting positive masculinity through dialogues, workshops, awareness-raising campaigns, psychosocial support and behavioural change programmes.
In August this year I was part of the Presidential Young Men and Boys’ Indaba in Soweto. I had the opportunity to talk with a group of young men as part of the ‘What about the Boys’ initiative. The aim of this programme is to get young men to open up in a safe space about their own experiences with masculinity and how this impacts their own attitudes to gender-based violence.
Speaking to them, I acknowledged that young men in South Africa today face a lot of pressures that affect their attitudes to women and girls. These include the lack of positive male role models, absentee fathers, vulnerability to recruitment by criminals, pressure to drop out of school and earn a living, and pressure to become sexually active before they are ready to.
The AU Men’s Conference aims to advocate for more initiatives and dialogues where young men and boys can talk about these issues among their peers.
We need to inculcate a mindset that sees young men as part of the solution, and not just the problem.
While men are the main perpetrators of violence against women and children, men must also be at the forefront of bringing about a new society that respects the equal rights of women and girls, where gender-based violence has no place.
I am confident that the 3rd AU Men’s Conference on Positive Masculinity will raise the profile of prevention efforts in South Africa and in Africa, and that its outcomes will galvanise men and boys to play a greater role in breaking the cycle of violence.
With best regards,


Middle East conflict calls for solidarity, tolerance and dialogue
Dear Fellow South African,
It is now over a month since the attacks in Israel that unleashed a terrible spiral of violence in which civilians have been the biggest casualties.
According to authorities, more than 1,200 people were killed in the attack by Hamas on Israel on 7 October and more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed to date in Gaza as a result of Israeli Defence Force bombardments since then. More than 60% of the people killed in Gaza are reported to be women and children.
As the bombardment of Gaza continues, there have been pro-Palestinian demonstrations around the world, as well as those expressing solidarity with Israel. There have been a number of such events in our own country, convened by civil society organisations, political parties and religious groupings.
What is happening in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank provokes strong emotions.
For some, the murder of Israelis and the abduction of hostages on 7 October has further hardened sentiment that Israel has the right to use whatever means at its disposal to defend itself. At the same time, there are others who view the collective punishment of the people of Gaza by the Israeli government as a war crime.
The conflict between Israel and Palestine has long been a polarising conflict that has deepened divisions in societies and communities way beyond the Middle East.
Yet no matter how strong our views on this matter, we must guard against this conflict turning us against each other as South Africans.
Last week, police had to intervene in a confrontation between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian supporters at a demonstration in Cape Town. While this incident is troubling and unacceptable, we must commend all those South Africans who have participated in orderly and peaceful demonstrations in several parts of our country.
Our Constitution protects everyone’s right to freedom of opinion and expression, to freedom of association and to demonstrate. It also requires that all demonstrations must be peaceful and that freedom of expression does not extend to the advocacy of hatred based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion that constitutes incitement to cause harm.
There is no place in South Africa for violence or threats of violence against those who hold contrary views. Nor is there any place for any form of prejudice, racism or chauvinism.
As emotive as the Israel-Palestine issue may be for many of our citizens, particularly given our own history of discrimination and oppression, we must not let it deepen divisions between us.
We are a society that prides itself on its tolerance and respect.
Successive democratic administrations have upheld the constitutional rights of all individuals and groups in this country. We have enforced these rights through our courts, including the Equality Court, and through institutions like the South African Human Rights Commission, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, and others.
It was disappointing therefore to read an article in a leading Israeli newspaper by a representative of a local Jewish organisation suggesting that our government is ‘encouraging pogroms’ against the South African Jewish community.
This has never happened in the history of democratic South Africa, nor will it ever be allowed to happen.
As a government and as a people, we stand firm in our call for justice for the oppressed Palestinian people, for their rights and aspirations to be fulfilled, for the immediate cessation of hostilities, and for there to be accountability for the deplorable killings of civilians in this recent conflict. We maintain that peace will not be possible until Palestinians are free.
Yet, support for the Palestinian struggle cannot be equated with anti-Semitism. There is no place in our society for anti-Semitism, just as there is no place in our country for prejudice directed against any individual or community on the basis of race, religion, belief, political view or sexual orientation.
In a free and democratic society such as ours, where divergent views are respected and protected by law, we will continue to uphold everyone’s right to advocate and demonstrate peacefully, be they pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian.
As a people with our own painful history of discrimination, racism and prejudice, let us remember our personal duty to be tolerant and respectful of others.
Let us promote dialogue and meaningful engagement so that, as South Africans, we may work together to support the realisation of just, peaceful and secure future for the people of both Palestine and Israel.
Above all, let our painful history be a reminder of the heavy cost of a divided nation that has turned against itself. When it comes to freedom, equality and justice, we must be at one.
With best regards,


Together we will win the battle against illegal mining

Dear Fellow South African, 

The fight against illegal mining is seeing results. Last week, the Ministers in government’s Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster reported on significant progress in curbing this criminal activity and arresting those responsible.

A central part of this effort are the specialised Illegal Mining Task Teams set up by the South African Police Service (SAPS) last year to conduct operations against illegal mining and its associated activities in hotspots around the country. 

A number of intelligence-driven operations by these task teams, supported by the Hawks, have culminated in over 4,000 arrests for various offences related to illegal mining. Between April and August this year there have also been arrests of more than 7,000 suspects involved in illegal mining for contravening immigration regulations.

I recently authorised the deployment of 3,300 South African National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel to support the SAPS in its ongoing operations against illegal mining for a six-month period. This deployment will provide valuable support to the SAPS as it gains further ground. 

The SANDF deployment supports a multi-sectoral effort that brings together the SAPS, State Security Agency, the newly formed Border Management Authority and the departments of Mineral Resources and Energy, Home Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Development, Environmental Affairs and others. 

Illegal mining is linked to other crimes such as money laundering, bribery and corruption, illicit financial flows, human and weapons trafficking, and other forms of organised crime. 

Recent incidents have shown some of the devastating effects of illegal mining on the safety of communities. These incidents include the gang rapes last year of a group of women allegedly by illegal miners; an underground gas explosion at a disused mine in Welkom in May this year that killed 31 illegal miners; and a gas explosion linked to illegal mining activity at an informal settlement in Boksburg in June this year that claimed dozens of lives. 

Our efforts to end illegal mining cannot focus only on the miners, but also on those people further up the value chain who benefit. As Minister Gwede Mantashe said last year, “illegal miners are foot soldiers for criminal syndicates and must be dealt with like any other economic saboteurs”. 

The disruptive operations that have been undertaken against these syndicates have resulted in the forfeiture of assets and freezing orders against the assets of suspects by the Hawks and the Asset Forfeiture Unit. 

For this fight to be successful, everyone has to play their part. Mining houses that don’t comply with the laws around the closure and rehabilitation of mines have contributed to the proliferation of illegal mining. There are approximately 6,100 derelict, unused or abandoned mines in South Africa. In some cases the mines are old and their owners cannot be traced, but in other cases, miners have failed to honour their obligations to rehabilitate or close these mines.

We therefore welcome the efforts of the Minerals Council of South Africa to support greater collaboration between government and the mining sector in tackling this problem.

Our actions against illegal mining are part of a broader effort to tackle all crimes of economic sabotage, including cable theft, extortion at construction sites and other damage to critical infrastructure.

Through the work of specialised task teams, the SAPS has made 61 arrests linked to extortion at economic and construction sites since April. Over the last four years a total of 27 people have been convicted and sentenced for such crimes. 

Working together with business, unions and communities, we will not let up in our fight against the acts of sabotage that are undermining our country’s development. 

We congratulate our law enforcement agencies and security services for their successes in dealing with these crimes. Their intelligence-driven operations would not be possible without the cooperation of communities, whistle-blowers and industry. 

If we continue to work together, this is a battle that we can and will win.

With best regards, 


Thank you to everyone who supported the South African stand at the 2023 Diplomatic Bazaar on 3-4 November, held at the Lisbon Congress Centre.

We were happy to once again receive President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the patron of the Bazaar, with proceeds going this year to institutions that support victims of abuse.  In 2022, the Diplomatic Bazaar raised just over 100.000 euros that were distributed among 18 institutions working with youths at risk.  The South African stand, one of 45, donated 2.000 euros.  This was made possible with the collaboration of various partners, who were with us again this year:

Sogenave ( donated a variety of delicious Ceres juices, Prime Wine ( supplied South African wine, gin and brandy, the GB Store (see Facebook page) stocked us up on rooibos tea, Mrs. Ball’s chutney and other South African goodies, Biltong from Africa (see them on Facebook) supplied the biltong and drywors and Wanda le Roux baked her wonderful home-made rusks, malva pudding and ginger cookies, and made us some beautiful beaded crafts.  You have all helped to make the SA stand a great success!  A big thank you to everyone!

The Embassy will continue to have products from the GB Store, wines and crafts on sale at the Embassy until 15 December 2023, from 9H00 to 12H00.



The extension of AGOA could help transform African economies

Dear Fellow South African,  

In the last few months, there has been much discussion in South Africa about AGOA, which stands for the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The Act was passed by the United States Congress in 2000, granting qualifying African countries duty-free access to the US market for their exports.

While this may seem to many in our country to be a rather distant, even obscure, topic, AGOA is an important instrument for growing and transforming our economy. The benefits of AGOA are felt in the lives of our people through increased economic activity and the jobs that such activity created.

We have just hosted a successful 20th AGOA Forum in Johannesburg where we made a case for the extension, or reauthorisation, of AGOA beyond 2025. This would provide certainty for companies wanting to invest or expand their operations in eligible African countries.

South Africa benefits a great deal from AGOA. Our country is the United States’ largest trading partner in Africa. The US exports more goods to South Africa and imports more goods from South Africa than any other African country. According to US Census Bureau data from 2020, South Africa was the largest destination for US foreign direct investment among AGOA eligible countries. 

The value of AGOA to African countries, however, extends beyond the impressive trade statistics. Rather, AGOA can make an important contribution to the transformation of African countries from mainly being exporters of raw materials to producers of finished goods for both continental and global markets. 

If extended beyond 2025 for a sufficiently long period, and if used more effectively, AGOA can contribute significantly to the further diversification of African economies. It could enable countries to produce a wider range of products using the abundant minerals, metals and agricultural produce. The extension of AGOA could also encourage the further development of value chains across different countries.

We have already seen this happening in South Africa’s automotive industry, for example. Local automotive companies source leather car seats from Lesotho, wiring harnesses from Botswana, copper wiring from Zambia, steering wheel components from Tunisia and rubber from Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Malawi, Ghana and Cameroon. The vehicles are finally fully manufactured in South Africa then exported to the US duty-free under AGOA. 

This is a great example of the resources and industrial capabilities of different African countries being brought together to produced finished goods that can be sold beyond our shores. This is contributing to the creation of jobs both in South Africa and in other African countries and raising foreign exchange earnings. 

Such regional value chains will be integral to the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area. As trade barriers between Africa countries come down, the potential for such integration will grow enormously.

The 20th AGOA Forum discussed what needs to be done to scale up investment by US companies to fully unlock the opportunities provided by AGOA. With the share of AGOA-eligible countries to total world exports still negligible and industrialisation and economic diversification still work in progress, there is much more that we need to do. A renewal of AGOA will incentivise greater US investment in Sub-Saharan Africa and improve the export competitiveness of African products. 

As the cornerstone of the United States’ trade relationship with sub-Saharan Africa, AGOA has played an important, catalytic and transformative role in these economies. 

AGOA enhances the diversification of African economies enabling them to export value added products. By enabling African countries to have preferential access to the US market, this opportunity incentivises African countries to develop and export value-added goods and services. This does and will continue to reduce Africa's dependence on primary commodities and enhance its ability to participate in global value chains.

Another important element of AGOA is that it has a capacity building and technical assistance component that supports African countries in meeting the requirements for accessing the US market. This assistance helps improve Africa's competitiveness by enhancing skills, knowledge and infrastructure, enabling African businesses to meet international standards.

Africa has been advocating for the integration of continental economies for a long time. AGOA encourages regional integration among African countries. To fully benefit from AGOA, countries are finding that it is far better to work together to increase production capacities, harmonise standards and develop regional value chains. This is demonstrated by the experience of 10 countries, including South Africa, in the production of motor vehicles exported to the US. This promotes cooperation, economic integration and the growth of larger regional markets within Africa.

Yet the benefits of AGOA extend beyond our continent. As we learnt from the COVID pandemic, the global economy stands to benefit from more diverse value chains that are not dependent on just a few sites of production.

South Africa greatly values its bilateral relationship with the US, one of our largest trading partners and with whom we enjoy relations that extend well beyond trade.  

We look forward to further engagement around the reauthorisation of AGOA at a time when its benefits continue to support our quest for economic growth, job creation and inclusive, sustainable development. 

With best regards, 


The South African Embassy is pleased to announce that the newly appointed South African Honorary Consul, Mr David Schneider and his staff, are now available to accept appointments for consular matters:


Please see details of the times of operation of the Honorary Consulate:


By appointment only on Tuesday and Thursday, from 9.00 to 12.00

Phone:+351 917 716 070

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Rua 5 de Outubro, No. 420/428

4470-194 Maia



May be an image of 1 person, dais and text that says "THE PRESIDENT RONDUIG OF SOUTH APRIE FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT"

The Springbok victory is about much more than sporting excellence
Dear Fellow South African,
The Springboks’ win at the Stade de France on Saturday night has lifted the nation’s spirits, confirming the enduring power of sport to unite and build a nation.
The Springboks go down in history for having won the Rugby World Cup more than any other nation, but this alone is not what makes this an exceptional triumph. The symbolism of this victory is as significant as the great sporting achievement we have witnessed.
It has been under democracy that the Springboks racked up these wins and lifted the coveted Webb Ellis Cup a record four times.
When South Africa first competed in the Rugby World Cup in 1995, our democracy was just a year old. Back then, there was just one black player on the team, the legendary Chester Williams. Of the squad that played in the past weekend’s final, just short of half were black players, including the team captain, Siya Kolisi.
The journey of the Springboks to the historic victory in the 2023 Rugby World Cup is as much about our journey towards nationhood as it is about sporting excellence.
It is as much about our quest to ensure that representation in all facets of public life, including sport, stands as a potent symbol of the cherished values upon which this country was founded.
The fervent, colourful and touching displays of national pride from South Africans both at home and abroad during this tournament, show that perhaps as never before, the Springboks have well and truly been embraced by all races as their own.
The viral clip of Springboks winger Makazole Mapimpi being cheered on by customers and store staff whilst out grocery shopping, and that of Eben ‘Elizabedi’ Etzebeth and RG Snyman dancing with South African fans near the Eiffel Tower in Paris are among my personal favourites.
Witnessing so many South Africans don the national team’s colours and profess their support online and on other platforms speaks to the deep love for our country and to our ability to pull together even when the going gets tough.
We need more of this, and not just in the domain of sporting achievement.
That we were able to overcome one of the worst global disasters in living memory in the form of the pandemic was in large part due to our ability to rally around a common cause, in pursuit of the greater good.
At times such as this, when our country faces many problems that at times cause our spirits to flag, we are reminded that our South Africanness, our sense of community and belonging, and our very nationhood did not evolve overnight.
It has taken considerable time to forge, and at times faced obstacles that threw us into uncertainty and doubt.
But if the story of the transformation of South African rugby, a sport that was once the bastion of racial supremacy, is anything to go by, our country will continue to reap the benefits of change if we remain united and if we stay the course.
The patriotism we display in sports stadiums should be reflected in our approach to overcoming our challenges. We are all in this together as government, business, labour, civil society and citizens.
We do not make light of South Africa’s challenges. They cannot be forgotten or wished away by a fleeting moment such as a sporting victory.
The Springboks’ win has united us in celebration. It is our hope that it must also serve to inspire the younger generation to derive important life lessons about perseverance, teamwork, discipline and leadership.
The interview that Siya Kolisi gave shortly after the team’s win on Saturday will be remembered as one of the most poignant and meaningful from a sports person in our country.
He spoke about the different backgrounds of the team members and the difficulties they have had to overcome to reach this pinnacle of sporting achievement. “You have to be South African to see, feel and experience the things we do,” he said.
This Springbok squad is one of the best rugby teams in the history of the sport. But they are far more than that. They are also great ambassadors for our country and for the values that continue to drive our efforts to build a united, more equal and prosperous nation.
With best regards,




The world needs to do much more to tackle climate change, and do it faster

Dear Fellow South African, 

The recent catastrophic floods in Libya are a stark reminder of the extreme vulnerability of developing economy countries to the effects of an ever-changing climate. 

Many other countries on the African continent are just as vulnerable. Despite carrying the least responsibility for global warming, Africa is warming faster than the rest of the world.

I have just returned from the United Nations General Assembly in New York where climate change was a major focus of discussion. There is growing concern that the international community is falling significantly short on meeting the goals contained in the Paris Agreement to combat climate change. 

While the nations of the world agreed in Paris in 2015 on urgent actions to limit global temperature rises and mitigate the impact of climate change, the effects of climate change are being increasingly felt with greater ferocity.

Although developed economy countries promised to support developing economies as they transition to low-carbon, climate resilient societies, this support has not been forthcoming at the scale and with the urgency that is needed.

Among other things, wealthy countries have not provided the promised finance that vulnerable countries need to adapt to climate change and to cover the cost of the loss and damage caused by climate disasters.

To galvanise governments, business, financial institutions and civil society towards greater climate action, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres convened a Climate Ambition Summit on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly last week.

By emphasising ‘ambition’, the UN Secretary-General was saying that not nearly enough is being done to tackle climate change and that there is insufficient urgency.

South Africa used the summit to reiterate our long-stated position that developed economy countries must fulfil their obligations and honour their past promises to developing economy countries.

This is not about charity. It is about economic and social justice. Africa’s people are literally paying the price for the industrialisation and development of the countries of the north.

It is also about shared interests because the economic and social havoc caused by climate change will make the world more unstable, less secure and will increase competition for scarce resources like water and food.

As African countries, we cannot be bystanders to our own development. We are putting the necessary measures in place to decarbonise our respective economies while pursuing sustainable development. 

The transformation of the energy landscape in Africa is a priority. As African countries we have called on the international community to support efforts to increase the continent’s renewable energy capacity while ensuring energy security for Africa’s people. This needs to take place alongside increased investment in smart, digital and efficient green technologies in carbon-intensive sectors such as transportation, industry and electricity.

As South Africa, we want to use our abundant solar and wind resources to position our country at the forefront of the clean energy transition. Regulatory reforms undertaken by this administration have resulted in a confirmed pipeline of renewable energy projects that are expected to produce in excess of 10 gigawatts of electricity.

We have reaffirmed that the transition to low-carbon economies and societies must be just and inclusive. It must also be appropriate to our national circumstances and development plans.

As the world works to address climate change, we need to avoid measures that, while intended to reduce global warming, simply further increase the vulnerability of developing economies. One of these measures is the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, which will increase tariffs on all imports into the EU that are produced through carbon-intensive processes. 

This is likely to have a significant impact on South African producers, increase the costs of South African exports into European markets and reduce our economy’s competitiveness. 

In my address to the Climate Ambition Summit, I said that trade mechanisms must enable products from Africa to compete on fair and equitable terms. Trade tariffs and non-trade barriers that have an environmental purpose should be the product of multilateral agreements.

As South Africa, we are committed to contributing our fair share to the global climate change effort. The message we took to this year’s UN General Assembly is that the unique circumstances of countries with low levels of development must be taken into account and that developed economy countries must honour their commitments to support climate mitigation and adaptation. 

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, unity of purpose and action between countries is vital, as is a common commitment to multilateralism in the global climate change effort.

Ultimately, no country should be forced to choose between climate action and meeting their developmental aspirations. 

With best regards,