Joint Communiqué of the Eighth Session of the Republic of South Africa – Democratic Republic of Congo Bi-National Commission (BNC), held in Pretoria

1. At the invitation of His Excellency, Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, Mr Joseph Kabila Kabange, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, visited South Africa from 22 to 24 October 2012 on the occasion of the Eighth Session of the Bi-National Commission between South Africa and the DRC. Both Heads of State were accompanied by delegations of Ministers and Senior Government Officials. The meeting of the two Heads of State was preceded by a Ministerial Meeting which took place on 22 October 2012 and a Senior Officials’ Meeting which was held from 20 to 21 October 2012.

2. During their official talks, the two Presidents reviewed a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues. They expressed great satisfaction at the warm and special relations that exist between their two countries and committed themselves to further enhance these relations for the mutual benefit of their respective countries and peoples.

3. The two Heads of State expressed their satisfaction with the progress made with the implementation of bilateral projects. The two countries cooperate in several projects covering various fields including security sector reform, infrastructure development, capacity and institutional building, humanitarian and social matters.

4. Both Heads of State reiterated their commitment to strengthen economic relations by enhancing cooperation between the business communities of the two countries and by increasing bilateral trade and investment. In this connection, South Africa’s Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) was regarded as an important platform to achieve this goal. In the same vein, both countries agreed to encourage people-to-people contacts through cultural, scientific and educational exchange programmes and tourism.

5. The two Heads of State also witnessed the signing of a Co-operation Agreement between PetroSA and COHYDRO. This important agreement will establish a strategic cooperation in the activities of pre-exploration, exploration, development and production of hydrocarbons for the benefit of the two countries. This Agreement adds to the already wide legal instruments within which cooperation between our two countries takes place.

6. The two Heads of State also took the opportunity to reflect extensively on the ongoing security instability in the eastern part of the DRC. In this regard, the two leaders condemned in the strongest possible terms those forces that are involved in destabilising a sovereign state and called on them to cease these activities immediately. The two Presidents committed their respective governments to the regional efforts that are aimed at assisting the Government of the DRC to deal with this challenge.

7. On regional issues, the two leaders exchanged views on the prevailing political, economic and security situation in the region. In this context, the two leaders re-affirmed their commitment to work together in pursuit of regional economic integration.

8. On continental and international issues, the two leaders expressed their commitment to African unity and integration within the framework of the Constitutive Act of the African Union. They further reiterated their common view on the need to reform the multilateral institutions including the United Nations Security Council and the Brettonwoods Institutions to better represent the interests of the developing countries.

9. President Kabila, on behalf of the Congolese delegation and the people of the DRC, expressed his appreciation to President Zuma and the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to his delegation.

10. In conclusion, both leaders agreed that the next Session of the BNC will be held in the DRC on a date to be mutually determined through diplomatic channel.

Done in Pretoria,