South African President Jacob Zuma will start official visits to Botswana‚ Namibia and Swaziland between Monday and Friday this week for consultation with heads of state and government of member states of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).
SA Presidency spokesman Bongani Majola said the consultations follow the discussions held by the SACU Heads of State and Government during the inauguration of the new SACU Headquarters building on the 12th of November 2015 in Windhoek‚ Namibia.
Majola also emphasised on the various areas that are expected to receive attention during the deliberations.
“The discussions will also focus on progress in the implementation of the SACU work programme as adopted by the 2011 SACU Summit. The deliberations will also consider regional‚ continental and global economic and trade developments and their impact on SACU.”
The Southern African Customs Union being 105 years old is one of the oldest customs union in the world. The union is made up of five members‚ namely Botswana‚ Lesotho‚ Namibia‚ South Africa and Swaziland with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa at the head of the cummit.
“President Zuma‚ who is the current Chair of the SACU Summit‚ will be accompanied by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane‚ Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Dr Rob Davies‚ Minister of Trade and Industry and Mr Mcebisi Jonas‚ the Deputy Minister of Finance.
Consultations with Lesotho are ongoing to find a suitable date for the President’s visit to Maseru‚” said Majola.
The member countries of the union meet annually to discuss matters affecting them. The union has three technical liaison committees, namely the Customs Technical Liaison Committee, the Trade and Industry Liaison committee and the Ad hoc Sub-Committee on Agriculture, which meet three times a year.
The union aims at maintaining the free interchange of goods between member countries.