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Comunicación de la Comisión al Consejo, y al Parlamento Europeo - Hacia una Asociación estratégica UE-Sudáfrica

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[pic] | COMISIÓN DE LAS COMUNIDADES EUROPEAS |

Bruselas, 28.6.2006

COM(2006) 347 final

COMUNICACIÓN DE LA COMISIÓN AL CONSEJO, Y AL PARLAMENTO EUROPEO

Hacia una Asociación estratégica UE-Sudáfrica

COMUNICACIÓN DE LA COMISIÓN AL CONSEJO, AL PARLAMENTO EUROPEO Y AL COMITÉ ECONÓMICO Y SOCIAL EUROPEO

Hacia una Asociación estratégica UE-Sudáfrica

INTRODUCCIÓN

Sudáfrica ya no es la nación que surgió del apartheid hace doce años. Ha superado el trauma del apartheid para construir una sociedad democrática, tolerante y multirracial. Ha logrado la estabilidad financiera y económica que posibilita al país desarrollar su crecimiento económico en beneficio de sus ciudadanos. Se ha convertido en una importante nación y en un agente de paz en la región y en el continente africano. Su autoridad no se circunscribe a África sino que alcanza a las instituciones multilaterales a nivel mundial.

La Europa ampliada ha desarrollado un nuevo planteamiento de la cooperación Norte-Sur adoptando tres documentos políticos clave relativos a los Objetivos de Desarrollo para el Milenio, el Consenso Europeo sobre el Desarrollo y la Estrategia de la UE para África. Europa está reforzando su acción exterior y busca fomentar la estabilidad, la seguridad y la prosperidad a escala mundial.

Sudáfrica es, por tanto, el socio natural de Europa en el continente africano y a nivel mundial. Partiendo de valores compartidos, intereses mutuos, así como de profundas relaciones culturales, la UE y Sudáfrica han desarrollado una cooperación multifacética y global basada en el «Acuerdo de Comercio, Desarrollo y Cooperación» (ACDC) entre Sudáfrica, la Comunidad Europea y sus Estados miembros.

En la actualidad, sin embargo, las relaciones entre Sudáfrica y la UE requieren más coherencia, objetivos claros y una visión política compartida orientada al futuro, con el objetivo de reforzar la acción política conjunta. La Asociación necesita detallar claramente lo que ambas partes pueden esperar recíprocamente en los frentes nacionales, regionales, continentales y globales, y tener en cuenta la posición única de la UE y Sudáfrica en el nuevo mundo globalizado.

La finalidad de la presente Comunicación sobre una Asociación estratégica con Sudáfrica es, pues, proponer un marco a largo plazo completo, coherente y coordinado para la cooperación política con la República de Sudáfrica que tenga en cuenta el pasado traumático de este país, su papel como piedra angular en la región y su posición única en el continente y en la escena mundial.

LA SUDÁFRICA POST-APARTHEID

Aunque ha logrado un considerable progreso, doce años después del final del apartheid, cuyo impacto en todos los aspectos de la sociedad fue muy profundo, Sudáfrica sigue luchando contra su reciente traumático pasado.

Internamente , desde 1994 el Gobierno se ha propuesto desmontar las relaciones sociales del apartheid y crear una sociedad democrática basada en la equidad, la ausencia de racismo y el respeto de los derechos de las comunidades religiosas, culturales, lingüísticas e indígenas. Se han puesto en marcha nuevas políticas y programas para mejorar la calidad de vida de la gran mayoría de la población, incluidas la prestación de servicios sociales básicos y la discriminación positiva a través de la política de capacitación económica de la comunidad negra ( Black Economic Empowerment ).

Las resultados obtenidos hasta el momento son:

- un sistema constitucional multipartidista,

- una democracia parlamentaria en funcionamiento,

- un sentido generalizado del constitucionalismo y del Estado de Derecho,

- mecanismos de responsabilidad, transparencia e información en la Administración Pública,

- independencia de los tribunales.

Económicamente hablando, la característica más destacada del país es la economía dual heredada del apartheid, basada en divisorias raciales, con cerca de la mitad de la población viviendo por debajo del umbral de pobreza.

Desde el fin del apartheid, el país ha optado correctamente por lograr la estabilidad macroeconómica interna y externa. El gasto público ha permanecido a un nivel global sostenible, con un déficit presupuestario de menos del 3 % del PIB. Sin embargo, el crecimiento de la economía formal tiene que desarrollarse aún más para hacer posible el «despegue» económico decisivo, la creación de empleo y la integración de la economía «sumergida». La perspectiva para los próximos años es más positiva, y la nueva política del gobierno, ASGISA (iniciativa de crecimiento acelerado y compartido para Sudáfrica), tiene como objetivo combatir la pobreza y reducir las desigualdades mediante el fomento del crecimiento económico y el empleo.

El principal desafío social del país lo constituye sin duda la amplia disparidad económica y social que afecta al conjunto de la sociedad. Esto se ilustra mejor con dos dramáticos problemas que destacan a causa de su potencial efecto dañino en el conjunto de la sociedad:

- La prevalencia alarmantemente elevada del VIH/SIDA, cuyo número calculado de afectados se acerca a los 6 millones. Esto significa una tasa estimada de prevalencia del 21,5 % entre los adultos. Las consecuencias a medio plazo de la pandemia serán unos costes sociales y económicos muy elevados, debido a la reducción del total de la población, descenso de las expectativas de vida y pérdida de población económicamente activa junto a un dramático aumento del número de huérfanos[1].

- El nivel de delincuencia, tanto ordinaria como organizada, y de violencia que afecta especialmente a las mujeres y los niños, unido a la trata internacional de seres humanos en la región del África Austral.

Sudáfrica se enfrenta a importantes desafíos en el medio ambiente. El acceso al agua agrícola y potable, la erosión del suelo y la desertización, la gestión de los residuos y la contaminación son elementos que repercuten en la seguridad alimentaria, el bienestar a largo plazo y el desarrollo económico de los más pobres, especialmente de la población rural. Además, es probable que el cambio climático agudice muchos de estos problemas ecológicos e implique nuevos desafíos. Sudáfrica necesita abordar el aumento de las emisiones de gas de efecto invernadero del sector del transporte y en especial del sector de la energía, en el que la generación de electricidad se basa fundamentalmente en el carbón sin que parezca probable que la situación vaya a cambiar.

En la región del África Austral , Sudáfrica junto con Botsuana, Lesoto, Namibia y Suazilandia forman la Unión Aduanera del África Austral (UAAA). Desde 1994, es miembro de la Comunidad para el Desarrollo del África Austral (CDAA), comunidad económica regional del África meridional, que se compone de 14 países. Sudáfrica tiene un papel fundamental en la región, su PIB supone el 50 % del del África subsahariana y cerca del 75 % del de la CDAA. En el África Austral las inversiones de Sudáfrica representan el 49 % de la IED y el 80 % del comercio se realiza con ella. La mayor parte consiste en exportaciones sudafricanas al resto de la región. Además la expansión comercial de Sudáfrica se está intensificando y hay una larga historia de migración laboral al país. Hay que añadir que su capacidad científica y tecnológica representa un recurso importante en la región en general.

En la escena continental , Sudáfrica es el representante clave del nuevo Sur. Desempeña un papel crucial en la Unión Africana y es uno de los iniciadores y fuerza impulsora de la Nueva Asociación para el Desarrollo de África (NADA). En el campo de la paz y de la seguridad, ha desempeñado un papel constructivo en el continente africano como mediador y fuerza de paz, por ejemplo en Ruanda, la República Democrática del Congo, Burundi, Liberia, Sudán y Costa de Marfil. También continúa sus esfuerzos para lograr una solución en la crisis de Zimbabue.

A escala mundial , Sudáfrica es uno de los principales miembros del movimiento de países no alineados. Forma parte de la OMC y de la Commonwealth donde desempeña un papel muy activo. En las negociaciones de Doha, como miembro del G20 y del grupo Cairns, Sudáfrica intenta impulsar planteamientos comunes con otros países en desarrollo a través de alianzas y coaliciones estratégicas para consolidar la dimensión de desarrollo en las negociaciones de la OMC y promover una mayor integración de esos países en el sistema comercial multilateral. Sudáfrica también desempeña un papel importante en la reforma de la ONU. Además, se ha unido a Brasil, Rusia, la India y China en el grupo de países emergentes donantes (BRICS) y es probable que amplíe su papel como donante en el continente africano. Finalmente, Sudáfrica también está destacando cada vez más en los debates sobre nuevas medidas multilaterales relativas al cambio climático.

RELACIONES UE-SUDÁFRICA

Sudáfrica y la UE comparten valores políticos, sociales y éticos, tales como la democracia, los derechos humanos, el respeto del Estado de Derecho y de la buena gobernanza, la tolerancia, la igualdad, el compromiso en la lucha contra la pobreza y la exclusión social y la promoción del desarrollo sostenible.

Están de acuerdo en los principios económicos básicos de la economía social de mercado, el libre cambio y un orden económico internacional equitativo.

Ambas están activamente comprometidas en la agenda de paz y de estabilidad, de la gobernanza , de la democratización y de la lucha contra la pobreza en el continente africano. Ambas creen en soluciones multilaterales para los conflictos internacionales y tienen interés en velar por que la voz de los países en desarrollo y emergentes se oiga en la escena internacional.

El Acuerdo de Comercio, Desarrollo y Cooperación (ACDC) constituye la base jurídica de las relaciones globales entre Sudáfrica y la UE. Contempla el diálogo político, el comercio, la cooperación al desarrollo, económica y en toda una gama de otras áreas. Sudáfrica es también parte del Acuerdo de Cotonú, pero no tiene acceso a sus instrumentos financieros ni al régimen comercial preferencial.

Diálogo político

Ha habido un diálogo político desde el fin del régimen del apartheid, a través de negociaciones informales a nivel del Jefe de Misión en Pretoria y a través de visitas de políticos y altos funcionarios en ambas direcciones.

Se ha puesto en marcha un diálogo político estructurado y formal según lo previsto en el artículo 4 del ACDC en el contexto del «Consejo de Cooperación», órgano conjunto que supervisa todas las relaciones UE-Sudáfrica. Desde 2004, el Consejo de Cooperación se ha reunido a nivel ministerial seguido por una reunión de la «troika» sobre problemas políticos.

Los dos socios consideran el diálogo político como componente esencial de su asociación pues ofrece la oportunidad de intercambiar puntos de vista sobre una amplia gama de problemas nacionales, regionales, continentales y globales, incluidos el VIH/SIDA, Zimbabue, la NADA y la Unión Africana, operaciones de mantenimiento de la paz en África y el Fondo de Apoyo a la Paz para África, la ampliación de la Unión Europea, la evolución en las Naciones Unidas, el proceso de paz de Oriente Medio y el terrorismo internacional.

Comercio

La UE es el principal socio comercial y económico de Sudáfrica, contabilizando aproximadamente el 32 % de sus exportaciones y el 41% de sus importaciones. Sudáfrica es también el mayor socio comercial de la UE en África. Desde la entrada en vigor del ACDC las exportaciones de la UE a Sudáfrica han venido creciendo a una media del 9,5 % anual.

Las disposiciones comerciales del ACDC están vigentes desde el año 2000, y cubren el 90% del comercio bilateral entre ambos socios. Su efecto ha sido muy positivo en las relaciones comerciales entre ambos y son la base de la zona de libre comercio (ZLC) que deberá completarse antes de 2012. La introducción de la ZLC es asimétrica en cuanto que la UE está abriendo su mercado más rápidamente y a más productos que Sudáfrica.

Cooperación al desarrollo

La UE es, con mucho, el donante más importante: la Comisión y los Estados miembros juntos proporcionan alrededor del 70 % del total de los fondos de los donantes, lo que supone alrededor del 1,3 % del presupuesto del Estado y el 0,3 % del PIB.

La cooperación al desarrollo en la forma del «Programa Europeo de Reconstrucción y Desarrollo» (PERD) asciende a casi 130 millones de euros al año y se financia mediante el presupuesto comunitario. Se centra fundamentalmente en la promoción de la actividad económica y del crecimiento y en los servicios sociales. En este último campo, el apoyo sustancial se ha destinado al suministro de agua y al saneamiento, a la educación y al desarrollo de capacidades en el sector sanitario como contribución a la lucha contra el VIH/SIDA en el país.

El Banco Europeo de Inversiones también tiene un Memorándum de Acuerdo con Sudáfrica y proporciona préstamos con garantía comunitaria por un importe medio de 120 millones de euros anuales.

Las evaluaciones han llegado a la conclusión de que la cooperación al desarrollo UE-Sudáfrica es importante para las políticas, estrategias y prioridades de desarrollo del país. Sin embargo, la eficiencia del programa podría mejorarse si se centrara en un número menor de intervenciones.

Cooperación en otros sectores

Sudáfrica tiene un Acuerdo específico de Cooperación Científica y Tecnológica con Europa. Su rendimiento en los programas marco de investigación y desarrollo tecnológico está mejorando constantemente, con la participación de organismos de investigación sudafricanos en varias de las prioridades temáticas del Sexto Programa Marco. Las instituciones de investigación sudafricanas han facilitado en gran parte la cooperación científica internacional (INCO) entre las investigaciones europeas y subsaharianas.

La Unión Europea y Sudáfrica han firmado también un Acuerdo específico sobre el comercio del vino y las bebidas espirituosas.

Otras áreas — en general limitadas y ad hoc — en las que la cooperación con Europa se ha desarrollado incluyen las medidas sanitarias y fitosanitarias y la seguridad alimentaria, las aduanas, el vino y las bebidas espirituosas, etc. En el campo de la sociedad de la información, se están desarrollando conversaciones para identificar áreas de cooperación a nivel político y legislativo.

En educación, las universidades sudafricanas participan en varias asociaciones internacionales financiadas por el programa Erasmus Mundus. Un pequeño número de estudiantes sudafricanos ha recibido becas para cursar maestrías en Europa. También se han concedido becas dentro de las acciones Marie Curie del Sexto Programa Marco de Investigación.

HACIA UNA ASOCIACIÓN ESTRATÉGICA UE-SUDÁFRICA

En las reuniones en el Consejo Mixto de Cooperación, Sudáfrica, la Comisión Europea y los Estados miembros han reconocido que los recientes cambios en las relaciones UE-Sudáfrica requieren un marco estratégico más coherente. En su reunión del 23 de noviembre de 2004, adoptaron «conclusiones conjuntas» y en la de noviembre de 2005, un «informe conjunto», y acordaron que «había que adoptar nuevas medidas para garantizar que las relaciones UE-Sudáfrica se desarrollen en una genuina Asociación estratégica que (…) haga justicia al papel de Sudáfrica como piedra angular en el continente y como protagonista en la escena internacional».

La propuesta de Asociación estratégica tiende a implementar este proceso:

- reuniendo a los Estados miembros, la Comunidad y Sudáfrica en un marco único y coherente, con objetivos clara y conjuntamente definidos, que abarquen todos los ámbitos de la cooperación y asocien a todos los interesados;

- pasando del diálogo político a la cooperación política estratégica y a objetivos compartidos en cuestiones regionales, africanas y globales;

- reforzando la cooperación existente, mediante el desarrollo de una cooperación económica más fuerte y viable, que implemente en su totalidad las disposiciones del ACDC sobre sectores comerciales y amplíe la cooperación a los campos sociales, culturales y ambientales.

Además, la Asociación estratégica debe basarse en el «paquete ODM», «el Consenso europeo sobre el Desarrollo» y la «Estrategia de la UE para África» situando en el punto central del diálogo político el avance hacia la consecución de los ODM junto con los aspectos de gobernanza y la paz y seguridad, tanto a nivel nacional como internacional.

Relaciones bilaterales - un nuevo planteamiento estratégico de la cooperación

Cooperación política

El elemento más importante de la Asociación estratégica propuesta consiste en pasar del mero diálogo político a la cooperación política activa. La asociación UE-Sudáfrica debe convertirse en un lugar de encuentro para tender puentes entre dos representantes del norte y del sur en busca de consenso. Su propósito principal debe ser permitir que ambas partes lleguen a una base común en cuestiones de interés mutuo, apoyen las respectivas agendas políticas y adopten medidas políticas conjuntas a nivel regional, africano o global.

Conforme a lo establecido en el artículo 4 del ACDC, el diálogo político debe cubrir todos los aspectos de la Asociación: problemas nacionales, regionales, continentales e internacionales. Lo mismo debe aplicarse a la cooperación política, que es, por lo tanto, un elemento que afecta a todos los niveles de la cooperación: bilateral, regional, continental y global.

Promover el comercio

Las relaciones comerciales pueden desarrollarse no sólo estudiando una mayor liberalización recíproca del comercio de mercancías y creando mercados más amplios, sino también incluyendo el comercio de servicios y compromisos más allá de los de la OMC en varias nuevas áreas de regulación.

El acuerdo de libre comercio previsto en el ACDC debe desarrollarse para incluir la armonización de regímenes comerciales y nuevos compromisos en ámbitos como los servicios, contrataciones públicas e inversiones.

Ambas partes deben también intentar desarrollar la cooperación en varios sectores comerciales: cooperación aduanera, normas de origen, medidas de lucha contra el fraude e irregularidades en aduanas y asuntos relacionados, política de competencia, de derechos de propiedad intelectual, de protección de los consumidores, seguridad alimentaria, medidas sanitarias y fitosanitarias, obstáculos técnicos al comercio, y modelos y normas, tanto de aplicación nacional como desde la perspectiva del fomento de la exportación. El transporte aéreo tiene un papel importante en el desarrollo económico, la integración regional y la promoción del comercio. La UE y Sudáfrica deben crear un sólido marco jurídico para un mayor desarrollo de los servicio aéreos y la cooperación técnica en este sector.

Finalmente, cabe revisar parte de las disposiciones comerciales –por ejemplo con respecto a salvaguardias y a solución de diferencias– habida cuenta de las futuras relaciones entre el ACDC y el proceso ACC sudafricano.

Hacia una asociación económica, social y medioambiental innovadora

Las disposiciones del ACDC sobre la cooperación económica y de otros tipos abren una amplia área de cooperación potencialmente fructuosa que puede beneficiar a ambas partes. La política regional y la cohesión social es un área particular en donde esta forma de cooperación podría ser beneficiosa a Sudáfrica y complementaria a la cooperación al desarrollo. Sudáfrica ha mostrado un gran interés en la experiencia de Europa para aplicar la política regional y hacer funcionar los Fondos Estructurales. Considera que estas políticas podrían ser un modelo para el esfuerzo de Sudáfrica en abordar las amplias disparidades sociales y económicas entre las provincias y regiones del país. La UE está preparada para compartir su experiencia en el campo de la política regional y la cohesión social al objeto de ayudar a hacer frente al reto de los desequilibrios y disparidades.

Dada la importancia económica de Sudáfrica, regional e internacional, será importante desarrollar un intercambio sobre cooperación económica que incluya de forma periódica un diálogo económico e intercambios en el marco macroeconómico y financiero.

Con respecto a la cooperación en el campo de la ciencia y la tecnología, existe el potencial para consolidar la cooperación UE-Sudáfrica en el marco de los acuerdos existentes. Además, debe hacerse todo lo posible para promover la aplicación práctica e industrial de los intercambios científicos, a fin de asegurar un impacto inmediato en el crecimiento económico y el empleo.

En el Anexo I se incluyen otras nuevas áreas prometedoras de cooperación, que necesitan ser desarrolladas.

Cooperación al desarrollo - nueva estrategia nacional para 2007-2013

Sudáfrica es un país de renta media (PRM) que genera recursos presupuestarios sustanciales propios, y la ayuda al desarrollo de Europa, aunque importante, es pequeña con respecto a su presupuesto. Sin embargo, el dinero destinado al desarrollo ha proporcionado recursos para programas presupuestarios de apoyo a nivel sectorial, iniciativas de mejores prácticas, desarrollo de capacidades y reconocimiento internacional. Además, y tal como se recoge en el «Consenso Europeo sobre Desarrollo», «muchos países con rentas bajas (…) se enfrentan a enormes desigualdades y a deficiencias de gobernanza, lo que supone una amenaza a la sostenibilidad de su propio proceso de desarrollo. Además, un número considerable de países de renta media son protagonistas estratégicos con un importante papel en cuestiones globales políticas, de seguridad y comerciales, al producir bienes públicos globales y actuar como países clave en la región.»

El programa de cooperación al desarrollo 2007-2013 necesita tener esto presente, examinar la necesidad de AOD de Sudáfrica y centrarse en el valor añadido de la contribución de Europa. Debe garantizar la protección de la base de recursos naturales y ser viable en desde el punto de vista medioambiental. Necesita coincidir completamente con la política económica y social de Sudáfrica y responder a sus prioridades, en especial abordando las deficiencias en la oferta de servicios sociales y teniendo en cuenta el «desarrollismo» de la política económica intervencionista del Gobierno sudafricano, que se centra en el crecimiento económico, el empleo y en la lucha contra las amplias disparidades y desigualdades de renta.

Sudáfrica como piedra angular regional

Con cerca del 75 % del PNB total de la región de la CDAA, Sudáfrica es el centro regional en cuestiones políticas, económicas, financieras, de recursos humanos y comercio. El papel que decida desempeñar será de importancia crucial para la aplicación del Programa Indicativo Regional de desarrollo de la CDAA y, por supuesto, para la integración regional en África meridional. La CDAA sigue siendo el motor principal de la cooperación política regional y la alianza «natural» en la región, mientras que la Unión Aduanera del África Austral (UAAA) desempeña un papel importante en cuanto al comercio.

La estrategia de la UE para África considera a las comunidades económicas regionales como los componentes primarios para las relaciones UE-África. En el caso de la región africana meridional, la UE y Sudáfrica, como socios estratégicos, deben establecer un diálogo más intenso y sustantivo y una cooperación política sobre el complejo contexto regional y sus desafíos políticos. Deben definir más claramente sus respectivos papeles en la región, teniendo en cuenta la aparición de nuevos poderes económicos.

Una dimensión importante de la cooperación a nivel regional es la seguridad y el mantenimiento de la paz. Sudáfrica y la UE deben trabajar con la CDAA para fomentar el plan indicativo estratégico del órgano en cooperación política, defensa y seguridad (SIPO), el sistema de alerta rápida y la capacidad pacificadora de la CDAA.

Las negociaciones del AAE entre la CE y la CDAA tendrán que abordar cuestiones planteadas por la coexistencia del ACDC y de la futura AAE, teniendo en cuenta que los objetivos del AAE son desarrollar un mercado regional de bienes y servicios más fiable y regulado, con objeto de estimular la integración regional, armonizar normas comerciales en la región y respecto a la CE y crear un marco comercial sencillo entre los países del África Austral y con la EC. Esto puede requerir otros ajustes al ACDC.

Sudáfrica como pieza clave en el continente

Sudáfrica es una pieza clave en la escena continental. Es una de las fuerzas impulsoras de la Unión Africana y de la NADA. A través de su compromiso respecto al mecanismo africano de evaluación paritaria, promueve la buena gobernanza en el continente. El país es también un ejemplo destacado de la transformación de un régimen político injusto en una sociedad abierta y democrática que promueve la tolerancia y la reconciliación. Es también un inversor cada vez más importante en África, tanto en términos financieros como de transferencia de conocimientos técnicos y buenas prácticas. Finalmente, Sudáfrica participa activamente en la prevención, la mediación y la resolución de conflictos en varios países africanos y apoya enérgicamente los esfuerzos de la UA en este ámbito.

La cooperación política y diplomática en cuestiones africanas debe llegar a ser un área de entente más fuerte entre Sudáfrica y la UE. La cooperación no debe limitarse a la financiación de la UA y de las misiones pacificadoras, sino que debe convertirse en un elemento de una asociación consolidada. La UE debe explorar con Sudáfrica las vías para definir una agenda africana común y apoyar los respectivos objetivos en África.

Tal entente no menoscaba las relaciones ya existentes de la UE con otros países africanos, ni afecta a la cooperación con la Unión Africana y las comunidades económicas regionales. Al contrario, se pretende situar la estrategia de África al nivel nacional con objeto de establecer lazos más estrechos con otros países.

Cooperación internacional en cuestiones globales

Sudáfrica ocupa una posición única respecto a la escena internacional. En muchas ocasiones, habla en nombre del mundo emergente y en desarrollo. Su autoridad en foros internacionales es notable y supera su peso económico. Aunque Sudáfrica y la UE no adopten siempre las mismas posiciones respecto a problemas internacionales, están de acuerdo en muchas cosas. Al igual que Europa, Sudáfrica está comprometida en la lucha contra la proliferación de armas de destrucción masiva, en el reconocimiento de la competencia del Tribunal Penal Internacional, en la abolición de la pena de muerte y en la lucha contra el terrorismo. Ambas creen firmemente en el sistema multilateral de seguridad colectiva de las Naciones Unidas y en la responsabilidad primordial del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas en el mantenimiento de la paz y de la seguridad internacionales. Ambas también comparten el sólido compromiso de abordar las causas y los impactos del cambio climático y han confirmado su interés en profundizar su diálogo sobre estas y otras cuestiones ecológicas.

Estos problemas figuran en el orden del día de las negociaciones políticas entre la UE y Sudáfrica, pero deben también desembocar en acciones concretas. La UE debe buscar posiciones conjuntas y la cooperación efectiva con Sudáfrica en todas estas áreas y defender intereses mutuos a nivel internacional.

Del mismo modo, la UE debe intentar poner en marcha una cooperación mutuamente beneficiosa en temas como el medio ambiente, la seguridad energética y el uso sostenible de los recursos energéticos, la migración, la lucha contra el comercio internacional de las drogas, el blanqueo de dinero, el fraude y la evasión fiscal, la corrupción, la seguridad marítima y aérea, la trata de seres humanos, en especial de los niños, las armas ligeras y la delincuencia organizada.

Finalmente, ambos socios propugnan una representación más fuerte de los países en desarrollo y emergentes en las organizaciones internacionales. A tal efecto, necesitan promover una acción conjunta y una coordinación política más fuerte, una cooperación en las instituciones financieras internacionales y en los foros internacionales, incluidos los órganos de las Naciones Unidas.

CONCLUSIONES

Sudáfrica y la UE comparten muchos puntos de interés común en su papel de constructores de puentes entre el norte y el sur, entre el oeste y el este, entre civilizaciones, pueblos y religiones. Europa cree que puede desempeñar mejor esta función en asociación con Sudáfrica. Sin embargo, tal asociación estratégica no se construye de la noche a la mañana; es el resultado de un desarrollo dinámico. La UE está dispuesta a dedicarse a este proceso dinámico, fundamentalmente a través de un diálogo político de fondo y sin cortapisas y de la cooperación con Sudáfrica a todos niveles.

En la actualidad el diálogo político se basa en intercambios con los Jefes de Misión de la UE en Pretoria, visitas regulares de ministros y altos funcionarios en ambas direcciones y el Consejo de Cooperación anual. Además, los intercambios entre el Parlamento Europeo y el Parlamento sudafricano se llevan a cabo a través de la delegación del PE en Sudáfrica, y Sudáfrica es un participante activo en la asamblea parlamentaria conjunta ACP-UE. Esta disposición institucional se había considerado satisfactoria en el pasado, pero necesita revisarse habida cuenta de la naturaleza estratégica de la Asociación UE-Sudáfrica.

La Comisión invita al Consejo, al Parlamento Europeo y al Comité Económico y Social europeo a respaldar la idea central de la presente Comunicación. Basándose en estos amplios principios, la Comisión elaborará un plan de acción para implementar la Comunicación, que se presentará al Consejo de Cooperación conjunto UE-Sudáfrica a finales de este año y debe conducir a una declaración conjunta de los socios.

Dependiendo del debate en el Consejo, el Parlamento Europeo y el Comité Económico y Social, así como de los puntos de vista sudafricanos, tal plan de acción podría centrarse en

- un diálogo político consolidado, que conduzca a posiciones políticas comunes y a una acción conjunta,

- la implicación conjunta activa en cuestiones regionales y globales,

- la implementación de un documento de estrategia nacional elaborado conjuntamente conforme a esta Comunicación,

- la revisión y aplicación completa del ACDC según las prioridades anteriormente mencionadas.

LIST OF ANNEXES

ANNEX 1 - BROAD LINES OF A JOINT ACTION PLAN TO IMPLEMENT THE COMMUNICATON

ANNEX 2 - THE POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SITUATION IN SOUTH AFRICA

ANNEX 3 - ABBREVIATIONS

A NNEX 1

BROAD LINES OF A JOINT ACTION PLAN TO IMPLEMENT THE EU–SOUTH AFRICA STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

On the basis of the outcome of the discussions in the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee, the Commission intends to draw up a draft Action Plan for the implementation of the Communication on a strategic partnership with South Africa. The draft Action Plan will be then be submitted to the Joint EU-South Africa Cooperation Council, which is expected to meet towards the end of the year. It is hoped that the partners will then adopt a Joint Declaration endorsing the Action Plan.

Such an action plan needs to be further developed but could focus on

- Strengthened political dialogue, leading to common positions and joint political action,

- Active joint involvement in regional and global issues,

- Implementation of a jointly drafted Country Strategy Paper in line with this Communication,

- Revision and full implementation of the TDCA according to the above priorities.

1. Political strategy and cooperation

As indicated in the Communication, stronger political dialogue, leading to common political positions on subjects of mutual interest and to joint political action where appropriate, forms the very backbone of the Strategic Partnership. This dialogue should be frank, open and uninhibited and exclude none of the domestic, regional, continental and global issues.

Possible themes for enhanced political and economic cooperation that could be included in the action plan are:

Domestic South African and European issues

- Economic and financial policy and Foreign Direct Investment

- HIV/AIDS

- Health and food security

- Crime

- Countering racism and xenophobia

- Land reform

- Governance, democracy and human rights

- Employment, economic growth, redistribution of wealth

- EU enlargement, neighbourhood policy

- Decent work, including employment, social safety mechanisms, social dialogue, rights at work, gender mainstreaming

- Social inclusion and cohesion

- …

Regional issues

- Social cohesion; regional integration

- See below, point 2

African matters

- EU–AU relations

- The EU–Africa summit

- The African Union

- Peace-keeping and mediation on the African continent

- The African Peace Facility

- APRM

- NEPAD

- …

International and global issues

- The MDGs

- Countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction

- Recognition of the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court

- Abolition of the death penalty

- Combating terrorism

- Global environmental issues, including climate change

- Migration

- Energy security and sustainable use of energy resources

- The fight against the international drugs trade, money laundering, tax fraud and avoidance, corruption and organised crime

- Trafficking in human beings, in particular children

- ILO

- Ratification, implementation and enforcement of core labour standards

- Social dimension of globalisation

- Small arms and light weapons

- WTO and the DDA

- The reform and role of the United Nations

- Multilateralism and representations in International Financial Institutions

- The Middle East peace process

- Iraq

- Iran and nuclear non-proliferation

- …

2. Joint involvement in regional issues

Because of their topicality and particular interest, regional issues merit a special place in political dialogue and in joint action, trade cooperation, economic cooperation and development cooperation. Indeed, the regional context in Southern Africa is particularly complex and requires a sustained cooperative effort from all parties, including South Africa and Europe. The challenges the region is facing are manifold.

AIDS is hitting Southern Africa harder than any other region in the world. The impact of the pandemic on society, on the health infrastructure and services, on human resources and on the economy of the region as a whole will be hugely destructive over the coming years.

Politically speaking, the SADC region will have to come to terms with important shifts in power patterns as new regional powers are likely to emerge. In addition, it will have to find a solution to the political stalemate in the Zimbabwe crisis.

A major short-term challenge to the region is untangling the knot of regional cooperation and integration. Implementing the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan, agreeing on the right recipe for EPA negotiations, clarifying the relationship between the SADC, SACU and the TDCA are issues to be dealt with urgently.

As the prime mover in the region, South Africa needs to assume its leading role in these matters and must be able to count on Europe’s support.

3. Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013

At the moment, the Commission, nine Member States, and the South African authorities are jointly drafting a new 2007-2013 Country Strategy Paper. Care will be taken to ensure that the drafting and approval of this CSP runs parallel to the discussion and adoption of the Communication and its subsequent Action Plan and that the CSP truly translates the broad political lines set out by the Communication.

The subsequent implementation of the CSP along these lines will form part of the Action Plan.

4. TDCA review

In recent months, the review of the TDCA has led to informal contacts between the Commission and South Africa and has enabled the two sides to

- tentatively identify those provisions that may need amending (revision);

- suggest priorities for those provisions that have not been implemented yet.

As regards the provisions that have not been implemented yet, there seems to be a strong interest in deepening cooperation in the following areas: trade and trade-related areas, intellectual property rights, customs, competition policy, regional policy, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, maritime and air transport and security, energy, information and communication technologies, mining, tourism, consumer policy, social and employment policy, science and technology, education and training.

Among the promising areas of cooperation that can be developed, are

- The environment, with particular emphasis on Climate Change

- Economic co-operation

- Information society, where promising opportunities have been identified in research and education, but also at the policy and regulatory levels as well as on activities related to the World Summit on the Information Society follow-up

- Education and training, including student, teacher and academic exchanges and a “South Africa” window in the Erasmus Mundus programme

- Industrial, maritime and air transport including safety and security aspects, mining, energy in particular in promoting energy efficiency policy and technologies as well as clean coal technologies, and the environment, where there is a clear interest in exchanging the rich experiences of both

- Justice, where exchanges of information and cooperation on extradition could be developed

- Employment and social protection; gender equality and the promotion of women's rights, labour law and dialogue between social partners, with a view to promoting productive employment and decent work for all[2]

- Youth, exchange of approaches, experience and best practice

- Enhanced cultural cooperation, which would offer both sides an opportunity to promote, strengthen and exchange their rich cultural diversity, taking into account the recently adopted UNESCO Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions

- Cooperation in press and information, to improve mutual understanding and visibility

The Action Plan should contain concrete steps for implementing cooperation in these fields.

5. Institutional architecture

The Action Plan should also include proposals for institutional arrangements for political dialogue at various levels, in accordance with the ambitions of the Communication.

ANNEX 2

THE POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SITUATION IN SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa’s current social and economic situation has been shaped by fifty years of apartheid.

Black, Asian and “coloured” South Africans were forced off the land, out of agricultural markets, and increasingly into wage labour as migrants within South Africa’s growing mining and manufacturing industries. Black South Africans were forced into overcrowded, arid “homelands”, which were economically unsustainable and dependent on agricultural “exports” from white South Africa.

“Bantu” education systems were designed to meet the need for largely unskilled labour. The apartheid regime imposed limitations on company ownership by black people and the business activities that they could engage in, mainly involving the retail supply of food and fuel. The resulting shortage of managerial and specialist skills, compounded by limited access to savings and credit institutions, is recognised today as a key constraint on growth in the small business and informal sector, as demonstrated by the relatively low proportion of small and medium-sized enterprises in South Africa.

In contrast, the largely white-owned formal sector became highly concentrated and capital-intensive. During apartheid, it grew on capital-related subsidies and import substitution in response to sanctions. The result was that, by 1990, six conglomerates centred around mining and finance controlled companies with 80% of the market capitalisation on the Johannesburg stock exchange.

Twelve years after the apartheid regime was replaced by a democratic government, South Africa remains deeply marked by its historical heritage. Remarkable achievements have been made in reconciling the masters and victims of apartheid, but the “rainbow nation” propagated by Nelson Mandela is still far away. Economic disparity prevails. Large firms in the formal economy have been able to build on the dominant position secured during apartheid to take advantage of the new opportunities in post-apartheid South Africa. This contrasts starkly with the previously neglected subsistence and informal economies, in which many of the black majority of the population still live in dire poverty[3]. While the Government is committed to narrowing the enormous gap between rich and poor through a set of comprehensive policy measures such as employment generation, Black Economic Empowerment, skills development and social grants, a fundamental turn-around has not yet been achieved, leaving the country with the risk of growing discontent among the poor, with corresponding possible threats to its internal political stability.

1. Political situation

Since 1994, in line with the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) , the government of South Africa has set out to dismantle the social relations of apartheid and create a democratic society based on equity, non-racialism and non-sexism. New policies and programmes have been put in place to substantially improve the quality of life of the vast majority of the people.

The RDP, the core of all post-1994 policies, has as its objectives:

- Meeting basic needs

- Building the economy

- Democratising the state and society

- Developing human resources

- Nation building

Although much remains to be done in order to consolidate the foundations of its young democracy , in which human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected, South Africa has made great efforts towards institutionalising democracy, and the country has experienced a stable political environment. Achievements to date include:

- A multi-party political system

- A functioning parliamentary democracy

- The entrenchment of constitutionalism and the rule of law

- An independent judiciary

- Mechanisms for accountability, transparency and information in public administration

The first general and free national and provincial elections in April 1994 put an end to apartheid and brought Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress (ANC), to power as President of a Government of National Unity. The second and third elections held in June 1999 and April 2004 confirmed the mandate for the ANC, with Thabo Mbeki as President. In 2004, the ANC, which regularly gains the majority of black votes, received a little over a two-thirds majority. Since 2004, it has also been running all nine provinces. The ANC is in an alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party, with which it established common lists for the elections. The main official opposition in Parliament is formed by the Democratic Alliance. The New National Party, led in 1994 by ex-President De Klerk, decided to disband in 2005 and to integrate with the ANC. The share of Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s Inkatha Freedom Party (based in KwaZulu-Natal) has been continuously shrinking (to 7% at national level in 2004). There are other smaller parties such as the Pan African Congress, Independent Democrats and Freedom Front, which have an active but small role in the debate on domestic and foreign policy issues.

During apartheid, civil society played a prominent role in taking pro-active action against the government to bring about political change. Since 1994, civil society has continued to make a vital and important impact on South African society by advocating proper and effective governance and by championing issues such as poverty, gender parity and the efficacy of service delivery, engaging the government on tangible reforms. However, it has been weakened by the loss of the donor funding that it received during apartheid, and the loss of many of its members to government, the civil service and the private sector. Thus, while new partnerships between civil society organisations and the government have gradually emerged, especially for service delivery in some social sectors, there is undoubtedly scope for strengthening the advocacy and campaigning role of civil society.

In spite of intense efforts to further the peace and reconciliation process following the apartheid era, both public authorities and civil society are conscious of the need to address the issues of exclusion and non-integration, which are still prevalent in all layers of South African society. In this context, the approval of the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Charter and, more specifically, the implementation of the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act of 2003 are important steps towards economic inclusion and equity for the black majority of the population . However, black empowerment at the workplace is slow and much remains to be done to implement a “broad based” black economic empowerment.

South Africa plays a key role in the Southern African region. It contributes 50% of the GDP of sub-Saharan Africa, and close to 75% of the GDP of the SADC. South African investment in the rest of Southern Africa represents 49% of the region’s FDI, and 80% of trade in Southern Africa is with South Africa. Most of this consists of South African exports to the rest of the region. In addition, South Africa’s business expansion into the region is gaining momentum, and there is a long history of regional labour migration to the country. Furthermore, South Africa’s capacity in science and technology represents a significant resource for the region in general. While its economic dominance translates into significant political influence, South Africa’s diplomacy is based on consultation, consent and consensus. However, South Africa’s policy of “quiet diplomacy” vis-à-vis Zimbabwe has not yet had the desired results.

South Africa plays an active role at international and pan-African level , also as a mediator between the developed and the developing world. South Africa plays a crucial role within the African Union, NEPAD, the Non-Aligned Movement, the WTO and the Commonwealth of Nations. It has been the international venue for high-profile global conferences, including the World Summit on Sustainable Development. South Africa has concluded or is negotiating numerous multilateral and bilateral agreements within the WTO framework, notably with the EU, MERCOSUR, the USA and EFTA. In the area of peace and security as well, South Africa has been playing a very active and constructive role on the African continent. Here, it has been involved in addressing crises and brokering conflict resolution in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Liberia, Sudan and Côte d’Ivoire.

2. Economic situation

Economic growth in the first 10 years after the end of the apartheid regime averaged only 2.9% per annum, but increased to 4.5% in 2004 and has been estimated at 5.0% in 2005. South Africa’s economy has moved from being dominated by mining (share in 2005 only 7%) and agriculture (in 2005 only 3%) to a situation where manufacturing (2005: 20%) and services (2005: 70%) contribute the main shares of GDP.

In recent years, macro-economic stability has been achieved. As a result, the government has had room to increase its expenditure. Fiscal policy has become more expansionary, while keeping within prudent limits. Since 2000, the budget deficit has remained between 1.4 and 2.3% of GDP. For 2005, the deficit has been estimated at 0.5%. Overall, public debt amounts to 30.5% of GDP and public expenditure remains at an affordable and sustainable level of 27% of GDP.

The achievement of macro-economic stability is also due to the strict monetary policy applied since the late 1990s, resulting in a reduced inflation rate of 3.9% in 2005, well within the South African Reserve Bank’s 3-6% target range. Since the middle of 2003, the Reserve Bank has been in a position to reduce interest rates, cutting the repo rate from 13.5% to 7%, which has also stimulated domestic demand and economic growth. In April 2005, when deciding on a further lowering of the interest rate, the Reserve Bank slightly changed its position: for the first time it took into consideration not only the level of inflation but also the impact of exchange rate fluctuations on the export sectors and thus on unemployment.

As regards external stability , following the depreciation of the rand in early 2001, the currency has strengthened considerably since the middle of 2002. This has had a dampening effect on the exports of the mining and manufacturing sectors and therefore implications for economic growth as well. Increased domestic demand resulting from a growing economy and lower interest rates, combined with lower prices for foreign products, has led to increased imports. As a consequence, the current account surplus enjoyed until 2002 became a deficit of about 4% of GDP in 2005. This reversal took place mainly vis-à-vis the EU, South Africa’s major trading partner. While South Africa had enjoyed a trade surplus with the EU since 1998, this turned into a slight deficit in 2004. So far, the current account deficit has been easily financed by significant portfolio inflows. Inflows of foreign direct investment continue to grow, though levels remain low and volatile, below $1bn per year or 3.2% of GDP. To counter the rand’s volatility, the Reserve Bank is in the process of increasing its foreign reserves to US $22 billion (23 weeks of imports) by February 2006.

However, this bright side of the economic medal also has a very prominent dark side. South Africa is a dual economy with high inequality in economic and social living standards, based on racial lines and on an urban/rural divide. The modern sector, built up under apartheid, has been best placed to take advantage of trade liberalisation and macroeconomic stability. Much of this comprises large, capital-intensive firms. Smaller firms and those in the informal economy have done less well. Many black, Asian and coloured South Africans live a precarious existence in the “second economy”, moving between unemployment, working in the informal sector (often as “hawkers”) and low-paid jobs in the formal sector. Often they have to travel great distances to formal jobs because of the apartheid policy of locating their communities away from the centres of formal employment. The “second economy” is also home to millions of the poor, mostly black, marginalised and unskilled, who engage in informal activities mainly for sheer survival.

While the country has an advanced physical infrastructure as well as sophisticated financial, IT and telecommunication networks similar to those of the developed world[4], it also faces extreme deprivation and exclusion and a level of poverty that compares to most least-developed countries. The Gini coefficient of 0.58 illustrates this significant social and economic divide in South Africa. This affects mainly the black population: almost 50% of the black population live below the national poverty line, against only 2% of whites[5].

The steady though modest economic growth and a stable internal and external macro-economic situation have not brought down unemployment, the key economic and social problem of the country.

Slow economic growth, a result of low investment and saving rates (16% and 15% of GDP, respectively), coupled with the continued ability of capital-intensive firms to benefit from the base built up under apartheid, has curtailed the demand for labour. The opening up of the economy has reduced the importance of sectors such as mining and clothes and textiles in favour of growth in sectors such as wholesale and retail trade, services, construction and communications. Jobs are being created, but not fast enough to incorporate the number of new entrants into the labour market. The apartheid legacy has left South Africa with structural obstacles to employment, with people living far from sources of employment growth, workers lacking skills, potential entrepreneurs lacking both collateral and access to financial and business services and a highly concentrated business structure. A workforce that is increasing faster (by 35% between 1995 and 2002) than the number of employment opportunities (by only 12% during the same period) has also contributed to unemployment. Presently, unemployment stands at between 26% and 41% of the workforce, depending on whether or not “discouraged” workers are included[6]. Of the unemployed, a large majority are young people[7]. There are proportionately more women unemployed then men and unemployment is geographically skewed, with the highest levels found in the provinces of Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal and the Free State.

Linked to the issue of unemployment is the problem of missing relevant skills among the labour force . Qualified employees are not only lacking in comparison to the needs of a growing economy and social system, but are also emigrating in large numbers, attracted by perceived better financial and living conditions abroad. In contrast, the growing numbers of unskilled young people entering the labour market do not meet the requirements of employers in either the social or economic sectors. On the other hand, there is a long history of regional labour migration to South Africa, which continues to act as a magnet for migrants of many kinds. These include skilled professionals, unskilled job seekers, illegal migrants, refugees, and cross-border traders; with human trafficking on the rise. While South Africa has ‘exported’ skills to the developed world, it has also contributed to the drain on skills in other parts of the region and the continent[8]. In total, however, the skills gap is considered a major impediment to economic growth.

One way of boosting the development of the second economy and employment is the promotion of small, micro and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs )[9]. However, the anticipated employment boom in this sector has remained below expectations. Employment in the informal sector fell by 17% between September 2000 and March 2005[10]. This could possibly be attributed to a regulatory environment biased against SMMEs, and certainly to difficulties in gaining access to finance. There is an ongoing debate on whether to shift the focus away from promoting grassroots SMMEs towards establishing downstream and upstream links with larger (first economy) companies to integrate the SMMEs (second economy) into the development value-chain of the economy as a whole. This debate illustrates the need for a coherent strategy on how to develop the second economy and a comprehensive employment growth policy. Additional research and political discussion are required for more informed decision-making in this area.

Both the first and second economies have considerable adverse environmental impacts . South Africa is currently among the world’s top 20 greenhouse gas polluters, with an expected increase in emissions of 30% over the coming ten years[11]. There is ample room for energy-saving and climate-friendly technologies. Systematic and thorough environmental impact assessments are often not available due to the lack of capacity.

3. Social situation

A strong social network in support of those who cannot earn a living from the first or second economy is considered as the third pillar of South Africa’s socio-economic system. Remarkable efforts have been made to provide social services to previously disadvantaged communities. Government budgetary expenditure on social services has increased dramatically over the last 10 years and now represents about 63% of the total budget. Since 1994, close to 9 million people have been provided with a basic water supply: today, 85% of households have access to clean water. Over 1.5 million houses have been built to provide shelter to over 6 million people. At the beginning of the new millennium, 64% of households were living in formal houses. Over 500 000 houses were connected to the main electricity grid so that 70% of households were using electricity for lighting. As regards the health sector, the immunisation coverage of children against common infectious diseases has risen to 90% and the usage of antenatal clinics is as high as 95%. In the field of education, the gross enrolment rate in secondary schools increased to 89% in 2004 and matriculation pass rates improved from 49.3% in 1998 to 73.3% in 2003 and 70.7% in 2004 .

To deepen and broaden democracy, local governments have been given responsibility for delivering social and administrative services to their populations - health, education, water/sanitation, infrastructures, environmental protection, etc. But during the initial stage of the transfer of responsibilities, local governments were overwhelmed with the task. The underspending by provincial departments of conditional grants earmarked for basic services highlights this fact. Poor service delivery at local level has become the cause for riots and unrest in the communities concerned.

A major threat to stable social and economic development with higher economic growth is coming from the HIV/AIDS pandemic . The estimated number of HIV-infected people has grown from 3.8 million in 1999 to 5.2 million in 2005. This represents an estimated adult prevalence rate of 21.5%, which is substantially higher among the black than the white population. Currently only some 80 000 out of 500 000 to 750 000 people are receiving antiretroviral treatment[12]. The medium- to long-term consequences of the pandemic will be very high social and economic costs following a reduction in the total population, reduced life expectancy and the loss of economically active people, coupled with a drastic increase in the number of orphans[13].

South African crime levels are among the highest in the world. Although recent statistics released by the government in 2004/2005 indicate that some crime rates are declining, the high level of crime and violence has highly adverse effects on the lives and the well-being of all parts of the population. It also risks having adverse effects on domestic economic viability and on foreign direct investment in South Africa. White-collar crime in the form of corruption has a damaging effect on development for the poor and on public confidence in government, both nationally and at local level. The issue has received particular attention from the government.

Access to justice for vulnerable and indigent groups of the population remains an issue, partly due to the difficult accessibility mainly in rural areas and partly due to an overburdened system. The state’s response to crime has so far tended rather towards retribution, resulting in tougher laws and maximum sentencing, leading to the highest incarceration rate in Africa[14], while restorative justice approaches still need to be explored.

Under the apartheid regime, around 6 million people were forcibly moved from their land. As a result, land and land reform are unquestionably emotive issues. In 2000, the South African government recommitted itself to its 1994 RDP target of transferring 30% of the country’s agricultural land, around 24 million ha, to previously disadvantaged communities by 2014. The implementation of the land reform has, however, made only slow progress. Since 1994, black ownership of land has increased by only 3% (2.3 million ha) to 16% at present (12.8 million ha). As regards land restitution, of a total of 79 000 claims originally lodged, 57 900 have been settled at a cost of R2.5 billion. The deadline for settling claims has had to be extended to 2007. The slow progress of the reform has increased voices of discontent, in particular from organisations such as the Alliance of Land and Agrarian Reform (ALARM) composed of landless people’s organisations, NGOs, small farmer and producer groups and the South African Communist party. It is in general recognised that faster progress is required in order to ensure social cohesion and political stability.

4. Environment situation

As both an industrialised and a developing country, South Africa faces environmental challenges of both kinds. The causes and effects of climate change, air pollution resulting in acid rain, growth in water usage outpacing supply, pollution of rivers from agricultural runoff and urban discharge, soil erosion and desertification are among the major problems the country has to tackle.

Emissions from vehicles (aeroplanes, ships, trains and road vehicles), contribute 44% of the total national nitric oxide emissions and 45% of the total national volatile organic compound emissions (VOC). This is particularly a problem in urban areas.

The energy sector as a whole is the single largest source of carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the primary causes of climate change , and sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions in South Africa. This is mainly due to the reliance on coal (75% of its primary energy) and oil or its products. A growing energy demand, combined with a continued reliance on coal, as well as a growing transport sector, will create increasing pressure on South Africa to tackle its greenhouse gas emissions to help address the causes from climate change. At the same time, South Africa's climatic sensitivity, with most crop agriculture taking place where it is only just climatically viable, will increase the need to adapt to the growing impacts of climate change.

South Africa is an arid country with only 8.6% of the rainfall available as surface water. This is one of the lowest conversion ratios in the world. Similar to surface waters, South Africa's groundwater resources are relatively limited compared to world averages. The scarcity of freshwater resources and highly variable hydrological conditions have led to every major river in South Africa being regulated in order to ensure adequate water supply for development. South Africa's available freshwater resources are already almost fully-utilised and under stress. At the projected population growth and economic development rates and with the increasing impacts of climate change it is unlikely that the projected demand on water resources in South Africa will be sustainable. Limits to both water supply and quality are thus likely to restrain the country's further socio-economic development. Many water resources are polluted by industrial effluents, domestic and commercial sewage, acid mine drainage, agricultural runoff and litter. To augment supplies, South Africa is looking towards water sources in other southern African countries (e.g. Lesotho) to assist in providing sufficient water for projected future demands.

More than 90% of South Africa’s land surface falls within a desertification risk area. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is promoting, via its National Action Plan, the development of community forestry to reduce the pressure on natural woodlands which as the only source of energy for many poor suffer from rapid depletion.

South Africa's coastal and marine resources are under considerable threat and are already severely degraded in many areas due to over-harvesting and urban/industrial development. Coastal areas in South Africa are mainly used for tourism, recreation and leisure, commercial and recreational fishing, agriculture and mining. Many South Africans are dependent on the coast for their subsistence. At present, it is estimated that about 12 million people live within 60 km of the coast, which constitutes about 30% of the population. Thus coastal and marine resources play a major role in sustaining the economic and social development, and contribute to the employment and food security of local populations. The major land-based pollutants are wastewater from industries and sewerage as well as run off from agricultural lands and urban areas. South Africa is situated on one of the major global oil tanker routes which, together with its notoriously rough sea conditions, make it highly vulnerable to oil spills. This is reflected in the relatively high number of shipping accidents, which have been recorded.

South Africa has one of the world's greatest diversity of plant and animal species contained within one country, and is home to many species found nowhere else in the world. With increasing demand for land restitution it is anticipated that there will be increased loss of natural habitats and, with it, potential loss of biodiversity.

South Africa's total waste stream for 1998 was estimated at 538 million tonnes of which industrial and mining waste amounts to about 470 million tonnes per annum (87%). Non-hazardous industrial waste amounts to approximately 16 million tonnes. 95% of urban waste is disposed of on landfill sites of which there are about 1,200 in South Africa.

South Africa has put in place a set of legislation and regulatory instruments to address these issues, which includes

- The Environmental Impact Assessment regulations and the associated schedule of activities as well as the Guideline Document for the Implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessment regulations were adopted in 1997,

- The Development Facilitation Act, 1995,

- The National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (NEMA),

- National Water Act, 1998.

In addition South Africa has signed or adhered to several international environment conventions [15] .

5. Medium Term Challenges

Over the next decade, South Africa must maintain a coherent and structured approach to tackling poverty by integrating it into sector policies, strategies, project activities and budgetary allocations. The vision for 2014 is to reach a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society. The consolidation of democracy will be closely linked with measures aimed at integrating all of society into a growing economy from which all people can benefit. Failure to reach this target might well result in continued unacceptably high levels of economic and social poverty and inequality, which will adversely affect political stability, as occasional demonstrations and protests among the poor have already suggested.

High unemployment, resulting in poverty, crime and, eventually, political instability, as well as the incessant spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic are the current main challenges facing South African society.

One way of tackling unemployment is considered to be sustainable higher economic growth, in particular resulting from labour-intensive economic activities. Under this approach, the first economy will need to continue to play the dominant economic role, but with the focus on supporting and strengthening the second economy to enable it to become part of the mainstream economy of South Africa. In this context, skills development in all crucial areas is high on the priority agenda. This approach should address the inequality of income distribution too. A further aim is to limit and, if possible, reduce the dependence of a large number of households on social grants.

The good health of the population is a further prerequisite for the prosperous social and economic development of South Africa. Key challenges in the health sector therefore include the expansion of access to the primary health-care system. This concerns in particular maternal and child health and infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases), which need to be addressed in order to reduce mortality and morbidity. A multi-faceted approach to combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic needs to be placed high on the agenda, covering at least three areas: prevention, addressing health system constraints to scale up anti-retroviral treatment, and care for the increasing number of orphans and vulnerable children. Tackling these infectious/communicable diseases will also necessitate further EU-South Africa cooperation and partnership in the field of the clinical research for the development of new drugs and vaccines.

The fight against criminality (including corruption) and respect for the rule of law is a huge challenge that requires major investment in human resources and equipment. This needs to be coupled with strengthening of the capacity of law-enforcement agencies and strong cooperative partnerships with communities and civil society organisations. Crime prevention and the introduction of a credible restorative justice approach need to complement the mainly retributive approach so far pursued.

Social, political, economic and environmental stability can only be ensured in South Africa if the challenge of access to land and security of tenure is met. This has to be seen as part of a strategy to uplift the rural poor and give them access to the mainstream economy, while at the same time guaranteeing the constitutional protection of property rights. This process must ensure that the beneficiaries of land restitution and redistribution are able to use the land in a productive manner, which is the key to building sustainability into the process of redistributing assets to previously disadvantaged communities .

The protection of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources also present a major challenge in the medium term.

All of the above challenges require better delivery of services to South Africans. This has become a major preoccupation for the government. In order to be able to meet these challenges and to deliver, government needs to continue its efforts to strengthen its own institutional and administrative capacity at national, provincial and local level. Capacity building efforts must consequently be considerably strengthened, in particular at local level.

Participation by communities and civil society is key to policy implementation. Public-private partnership encourages the mobilisation of private resources for development objectives. Specific mechanisms to ensure participation and partnership at local level are crucial.

In the light of South Africa’s current political and economic position and power as well as of its enormous additional potential, the country has a vital political role to play at international level in advocating the interest of developing countries. At pan-African level, the AU and NEPAD are faced with tremendous challenges in establishing functioning democracies based on peace and security and with the capacity for the sustainable development required to alleviate poverty. South Africa is expected to be continuously engaged in this important process[16].

ANNEX 3

Abbreviations

ACP | Africa, Caribbean, Pacific |

AIDS | Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome |

ANC | African National Congress |

APRM | African Peer Review Mechanism |

ASF | African Standby Force |

AU | African Union |

BEE | Black Economic Empowerment |

BRICS | Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa |

CSP | Country Strategy Paper |

EC | European Community |

EDCTP | European and Developing countries Clinical Trials Partnership |

EDF | European Development Fund |

EP | European Parliament |

EPA | Economic Partnership Agreement |

EPRD | European Programme for Reconstruction and Development |

ESDP | European Security and Defence Policy |

EU | European Union |

FTA | Free Trade Agreement |

G8 | Group of 8 |

GDP | Gross Domestic Product |

GNI | Gross National Income |

HIV | Human Immunodeficiency Virus |

ICT | Information and Communications Technology |

LDC | Least Developed Countries |

LIC | Low Income Countries |

MDGs | Millennium Development Goals |

MIC | Middle Income Countries |

MIP | Multi-annual Indicative Programme |

NEPAD | New Partnership for Africa’s Development |

NGO | Non-Governmental Organisation |

ODA | Official Development Assistance |

OECD | Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development |

PRSP | Poverty Reduction Strategy Process |

REC | Regional Economic Community |

RDP | Reconstruction and Development Programme |

RIP | Regional Indicative Programme |

RISDP | Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (SADC) |

SACU | Southern African Customs Union |

SADC | Southern African Development Community |

SMEs | Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises |

SMMEs | Small, Micro and Medium-Sized Enterprises |

SWEEEP | Sector Wide Enterprise, Employment and Equity Programme |

TDCA | Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement |

UN | United Nations |

WTO | World Trade Organisation |

[1] Se considera que en el año 2010 habrá 1,5 millones de huérfanos a causa del VIH/SIDA

[2] COM(2006) 249: Promoting decent work for all - The EU contribution to the implementation of the decent work agenda in the world.

[3] These contrasting situations conform roughly to what President Mbeki has termed the “first” and “second” economies. The second economy is “characterised by underdevelopment, contributes little to GDP, contains a big percentage of our population, incorporates the poorest of our rural and urban poor, is structurally disconnected from both the first and the global economy and is incapable of self-generated growth and development”.

[4] Infrastructure, however, is reaching its capacity limits mainly in power supply, ports and railway transport systems, creating the need for big investment programmes (outside ODA).

[5] The black population grew by 7.5 million people, or 25%, between 1994 and 2004 (coloureds by 0.6 million or 19%, Indians by 0.1 million or 12%, whites by 0.1 million or 2%).

[6] Employment statistics vary according to sources and can only indicate orders of magnitude and major trends, if any. Stats SA has since recently used only the lower figure.

[7] Currently more than two thirds of South Africans aged between 18 and 35 are unemployed.

[8] This explains the long delays in the finalisation of a protocol on the free movement of people within the SADC.

[9] Official statistics estimate that around one quarter of the whole workforce is employed in the informal sector (particularly in agriculture, construction and the wholesale and retail trade). SMMEs contribute 30% to GDP and account for 50-60% of formal employment.

[10] Stats SA: Labour Force Survey.

[11] In addition, the so-called “brown” environment issues adversely affect the lives mainly of the poor urban and peri-urban population.

[12] Government has allocated more than R3.4 bn for antiretroviral drugs up to end of 2007.

[13] It is estimated that there will be about 1.5 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS by 2010.

[14] 413 of every 100 000 inhabitants (2004), with 186 000 prisoners held in overcrowded detention houses.

[15] These include:UNFCCC - Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992, New York) (UN)Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (1989, Basle) (UNEP)UNCBD - Convention on Biological Diversity (1992, Rio) (UN)UNCCD - United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (1994, Paris)London Convention 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other MatterCITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) 1973RAMSAR - The Convention on Wetlands, Ramsar, Iran, 1971.

[16] South Africa has already developed a range of instruments to this effect, such as the Renaissance Fund, DBSA, etc.

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