22 February 2022
South Africa hosted a successful second South Africa–Ireland Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC). The meeting was co-chaired by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Alvin Botes, and the Minister of State for Overseas Development and Diaspora of Ireland, Mr Colm Brophy.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Alvin Botes, hosted the Irish Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora of Ireland, Mr Colm Brophy, for the 2nd South Africa-Ireland Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) on Tuesday, 22 February 2022, in Pretoria.
The second meeting of the JCC follows the successful inaugural meeting held in Dublin in 2019. The JCC was established in 2017 through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at the sixth South Africa-Ireland Partnership Forum (SAIPF) meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, and represents a deepening of the commitment of both countries to strong bilateral cooperation.
Bilateral relations between South Africa and Ireland are managed through the JCC at the level of Deputy Ministers. South Africa and Ireland enjoy a healthy bilateral trade and investment relationship with both parties
recognising that there are great opportunities for further economic cooperation.
Bilateral relations between the two countries remain strong with the JCC meeting underlining the close ties of friendship between the people of South Africa and Ireland as well as the common interests and values that the two countries share.
During the meeting, both Ministers identified several areas in which cooperation could be further strengthened and welcomed the substantial cooperation in the area of tertiary and higher-level education, which has expanded rapidly in recent years.
Through the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) and the South African Technology Network (SATN), learning exchanges and research relationships have been established
which will bring mutual benefit to the technological higher education systems of both countries.
The Embassy of Ireland’s Kader Asmal Fellowship Programme, which has also received support from the Department of Higher Education and Training, continues to contribute to skills development among future
leaders in South Africa, and has an increased focus on women and students from historically disadvantaged communities.
The healthy bilateral trade and investment relationship was recognised by both parties, who also identified that they were great opportunities for further economic cooperation between Ireland and South Africa,
despite the challenging global economic conditions, trade and investment which has been consistently maintained.
On Immigration, both parties expressed satisfaction on the significant success achieved in the management of the communication channel established between Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and Irish
Naturalisation and Immigration Services (INIS), which has improved the ease and accuracy of decision-making at the ports of entry.
Both parties welcomed the continuing visa free regimes for travel between the two countries. Developments and ongoing cooperation on a range of other sectors including, tourism, arts and culture, and
agriculture were also discussed.
Ireland-South Africa relationship was
noted with appreciation. The Co-Chairs exchanged views on International and regional issues including Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Palestine, and the situation concerning
Further, they discussed European Union (EU) – African Union (AU) collaboration and reiterated the need for greater cooperation.