Opening Remarks by Minister Naledi Pandor on the occasion of the Ministerial Session of the Second Session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between the Republic of South Africa and United Republic of Tanzania, Pretoria, 15 March 2023

Opening Remarks by Minister Naledi Pandor on the occasion of the Ministerial Session of the Second Session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between the Republic of South Africa and United Republic of Tanzania, Pretoria, 15 March 2023


Your Excellency and Dear Sister, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax,

Honourable Ministers,

Your Excellencies,

Senior Officials from our respective Governments,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning (Habari za asubuhi),


Let me start by extending a warm welcome to you Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, on your first visit to South Africa as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation. It is indeed a pleasure to receive you and your delegation today here in Pretoria as we consolidate the work of the 2nd Bi-National Commission between our two countries. I also wish to welcome my fellow colleagues and Ministers who have come in full force to be part of today’s programme.


Your Excellency and Dear Sister,


South Africa wishes to acknowledge the long standing amicable and historical ties with Tanzania. These ties were strengthened immensely during South Africa’s liberation struggle against apartheid, when the Government and people of Tanzania unwaveringly supported our freedom fighters during very trying times. We once more salute the Government and the people of Tanzania for their solidarity.


It is gratifying that the bonds of solidarity and friendship continue to define our relations and are also expressed through cultural engagements as demonstrated in the two-week cultural seasons between South Africa and Tanzania, which took place in Dar es Salaam from 18 November – 4 December 2022.


I am delighted to also highlight some of the acts of solidarity performed by the South African businesses in Tanzania and the South African High Commission, such as support to schools in the Kongwa district and delivery of more than 1000 desks, and ablution facilities to the Miyembeni school in 2018.  I believe Your Excellency, that there will be more such projects to support and partner with our fellow compatriots in Tanzania. Let this solidarity increase quantitatively and qualitatively.


Honourable Co-Chair.


In addition to our common history, our two countries share the same aspirations for growing our economies to create employment and eradicate poverty and inequality. We also share similar views on the security and economic development of our region and the continent. In the same vein, we aspire for a just and secure world. Our two countries’ engagements in regional, continental, and global governance institutions reflects this imperative.


Honourable Co-Chair,


We meet today to consolidate the work of the 2nd Session of the Bi-National Commission, which seeks to enhance and strengthen the current excellent and cordial bilateral relations between our two countries. The BNC is taking place at a time when we are rebuilding and refocussing our economies following the COVID 19 pandemic, and natural disasters that have plagued our region in recent months.  Through our bilateral cooperation, we are well placed to rebuild our national economies and contribute to the economic recovery of our region and the continent.


It is essential that mutually beneficial economic ties and investment flows grow between our two countries as these are the foundations for regional integration. I am pleased that Business Forum that is scheduled to take place tomorrow will highlight this imperative.


Our interactions and consultations within the framework of the BNC provide us with yet another opportunity to take stock of what has been done and what still needs to be done since our last BNC and forge new areas of cooperation.


I am pleased note that there are 15 Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding that exist between our two countries in various fields of cooperation.  It is my hope that the reports we will receive this morning will provide updates on the status of the pending Agreements and MOUs, with a view to their signature soon.


It is also very important that we strengthen the review and monitoring mechanism of the implementation of the BNC decisions and outcomes. One of the key outcomes of the first BNC was the agreement to establish a Mid-term Review mechanism, which will be chaired at the level of Directors General. The Mid-Term Review mechanism therefore needs to be reactivated.


Honourable Co-Chair,


Our two countries have come a long way, and on this journey, we have managed to build strong steadfast relations based on mutual trust and respect. I believe today’s deliberations will allow us to reflect on the areas of cooperation that we already committed to, and further explore new areas of possible cooperation.


Welcome once more to the OR Tambo Building.


I look forward to our deliberations.


I thank you.




OR Tambo Building

460 Soutpansberg Road