South Africa’s National Day celebrations in Brasilia, Brazil
13 May 2015
The South African Government is striving to confront the tripple challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment through the National Development Plan (NDP): Vision 2030. By Ambassador Mbete MN during the 2015 National Day celebrations in Brasilia
The South African Embassy to Brazil hosted its National Day celebrations at Porto Vittoria on 13 May 2015. An estimated number of about 300 guests attended the event. Amongst the dignitaries that attended the event were representatives of the Federative Government of Brazil, including the Executive Secretary for Ministry of External Relations, the Under Secretary-General for Cooperation, Culture Tourism and Trade Promotion, Ambassador Roche Vianna who was also the guest of honour.
The event was an excellent tool for public diplomacy and also provided an ideal platform to showcase South African cultural heritage. South Africa signature cuisines, music and dance were on offer. The spousal support during the build-up and during the event was phenomenal, particularly in the culinary department as well as creating a truly South African ambience at the venue made the event even more colourful. From that perspective, the event could be described as having achieved its intended objective.
At the commencement of his address Ambassador Mbete thanked the South African companies that sponsored the occasion. In this regard, he acknowledged the following companies: namely; Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti and Distell who have worked with the Mission to make the event possible.
He went further to highlight the significance of the 27th of April 1994 which ushered in a new democratic dispensation. He underscored the fact that on that day, the previously disadvantaged members of the South African population became an integral part of the South African political processes and that date will forever resonate in the history of South Africa as the date that gave birth to the freedom and constitutional democracy that all South Africans enjoy.
He furthermore observed that the year 2015 also has particular significance as it marks the 60th anniversary of the historic adoption of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown, Soweto. The values as embraced in the Freedom Charter 60 years ago are enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic.
Reflecting on the progress achieved since the attainment of freedom and democracy, Ambassador Mbete said that the South African economy had expanded by over 83% in the past 21 years. It has become more inclusive and continues to show steady growth.
On tourism sphere, he said that since 1994, international tourism to South Africa has also surged with foreign visitor arrivals to South Africa having grown phenomenally from just from over 1 million, to around 15 million in 2013. In this connection, he observed that Brazil remains the second largest tourist source market for South Africa in the Americas, thus accounting for 15% of all tourists from the South American region, with tourists arrivals from Brazil to South Africa increasing from 32 256 in 2009 to 82 730 in 2013.
At a multilateral level Brazil and South Africa enjoy a close relationship which continues to deepen and mature as a result of common interests on numerous fields. The IBSA trilateral initiative and the BRICS forum are illustrative of the ever-increasing importance and potential of these synergies and the strength of these two bodies.
In conclusion Ambassador indicated that the South African Government is striving to confront the tripple challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment through the National Development Plan (NDP): Vision 2030. He emphasized that this plan offers a long-term perspective for the future of South Africa in its quest for the realisation of a better life for all South Africans.
South African Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil