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REPORT BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN CO-ORDINATOR, DEPUTY MINISTER BUTI MANAMELA, ON THE SOUTH AFRICA – CHINA PEOPLE TO PEOPLE EXCHANGE MECHANISM (PPEM) COOPERATION IN THE FIELDS OF CULTURE, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN, COMMUNICATIONS AND TOURISM
 
1ST MEETING OF THE SOUTH AFRICA – CHINA HIGH LEVEL PEOPLE TO PEOPLE EXCHANGE MECHANISM
 
DIRCO, 24 APRIL 2017
 
Programme Director – Minister Susan Shabangu
Vice Premier of China – Liu Yandong
South Africa Chairperson of the PPEM – Minister Nathi Mthethwa
Ministers and Deputy Ministers from the Peoples Republic of China
Ministers and Deputy Ministers from the Republic of South Africa
Distinguished guests
 
It gives me great pleasure to present this report as the South Africa Coordinator of the PPEM.  The PPEM affords South Africa and China the opportunity to adopt a coordinated approach to key national priorities and strategic imperatives in the areas of cooperation of the PPEM. 
For South Africa these may be best approached through the twin pillars of human capital development and research and development.
 
The South African Government has adopted a range of policies and legislation in the late 1990’s in order to prioritise education at all levels and improve the skills levels of employed and unemployed persons.
 
We recognise that education in China is public-sector led, and scores highest globally in maths, science and literacy.  It is this quality education that has laid the foundation for a highly skilled workforce, together with the forward-leaps enabled by innovation. Through this PPEM, we hope to expand our skills development offerings in the areas of culture, tourism, communications, the empowerment of women, and science and technology.  This forms part of our investments in human capital. 
 
Countries need to invest in R&D to remain competitive and to innovate in our technologically advanced world.  In the context of South Africa there is renewed impetus for increased investments in R&D.   
Today China is a key global player in R&D both in terms of absolute size as well as growth rates, with its gross expenditure in R&D reaching levels comparable to that of the United States and Japan.  There is much that South Africa can learn and cooperate with China in terms of R&D ecosystem and its long term planning instruments. 
 
Please allow me to highlight some the current co-operation projects and the proposed new projects under the People to People Exchange Mechanism. 
 
Culture
In the field of Arts and Culture, South Africa and China have an existing Agreement on Cooperation.  The Ministers will be signing a further three year Programme of Cooperation during this PPEM meeting. 
The very successful reciprocal State Years held in China and South Africa in 2014 and 2015, enabled extensive showcasing of our mutual cultures, and succeeded in significantly strengthening our people to people and institutional cultural collaboration. 
 
 
Proposed new programmes will include:
•             The Youth exchange programme in key sectors such as animation.
•             We are proposing a fact finding mission to identify hosting institutions and develop a general partnership framework.  We are proposing for next year, an exchange with 5 young professionals, plus a coach for the establishment of a residency programme.
•             For 2017/18 institutions that will benefit include performing arts and ballet institutions, following on the proposals from the State Years.
•             A research collaboration project through the South African Cultural Observatory is proposed, to develop the creative industries sector, and to formalise research on mapping and measuring the creative sector in order to inform policy development.
 
•             For this year 2017 we are proposing the development of business models for a sustainable creative sector. Partner institutions will be identified and a joint research framework will be developed for young researchers to jointly participate in research residencies.
Science and Technology
In October 2016, the DST and the Ministry of Science and Technology in China convened a Joint Committee Meeting and agreed on new programmes for cooperation and on strengthening the current joint programmes.  In November 2016 the SA-China Memorandum of Understanding on Enhancing Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation was signed.
 
In terms of that overarching framework the following programmes are being proposed:
•             Joint Research Programme – both sides agreed to implement the 8th Round of the Joint research and development (R&D) projects involving institutions in SA and PRC. It is envisaged that 15 new R&D projects will be supported.
 
•             A flagship R&D programme that will focus on Big Data under the broad field of Information and Communication Technology.
•             The Young Scientists Exchange Programme – aimed at promoting skills transfers.
•             In 2017, the 1st Call for Expression of Interest will be made in the following areas: biotechnology; new materials and advanced manufacturing; information technology and systems. The entire process will be managed by the National Research Foundation
•             Joint Research Centres- creating a long term collaborative platform through which S&T cooperation would be strengthened, with a strong focus on cutting edge R&D, technological innovation and commercialisation.  As a pilot, 1 joint research centre will be supported in the areas of mining and minerals.
The DST signed an MoU on cooperation on Science Parks with China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) on the side-lines of China’s State Visit to South Africa in December 2015. 
•             South Africa is currently looking for the appropriate land for the establishment of High-Tech Park in the Gauteng area. The Chinese side proposed that the park be at least 50 km from resource pools and research institutions. The dti is in discussion with the Chinese group TORCH, a research institution designated by the Chinese side to establish High-Tech Park in South Africa. Activities to be conducted this year include: an analysis and scoping exercise led by the DST and DHET and relevant Chinese partners on the establishment of the three centres (including feasibility and financial sustainability of the projects) and the identification of South African host institutions and best operational model for the centres under South African conditions
•             SA-China Hi-Tech Exhibition programmes aims at providing a platform for South African innovators, hi-tech companies, SMMES, universities, science councils to foster innovation and technology partnerships with China and promote technology and skills transfers.
•             This year’s exhibition which will be the second one, will be held in China
Women Empowerment.
There is no current formal framework of agreement between SA and China on women’s development issues.  It is however proposed that collaboration under the framework of the PPEM in this area include the following:
•             Development of an exchange programme for artisanal and technical skill development for young women
•             Development of an exchange programme to expose South African women to Chinese business skills that could possibly lead to partnerships on business opportunities for women
 
•             Collaboration between SA and China on women’s issues in multilateral forums
 
Tourism
A Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Tourism was signed 28 October 2013 between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the People’s Republic of China.  Existing collaboration includes language training, where a group of 20 tourism practitioners visited China in March 2017 for Mandarin training and exposure to Chinese culture. 
 
Several areas for new collaboration are being proposed and includes the following:
•             It is proposed that a further group of fifteen (15) tourist guide and front line staff be trained in Mandarin to equip them to better service the market.
 
•             It is further proposed to explore scholarship for South African professional chefs to advance their qualifications through a specialisation course on Chinese traditional cuisine for twenty to thirty chefs per year.
•             Consideration will be given to an exchange programme of 20 graduate chefs with the Yangzhou School of Cookery and Hotels.
•             Scholarship offered by Yangzhou University on a Tourism Diploma and Degrees including Post graduation courses for 2 to 5 students per year for a period of three years will be explored.
•             Discussion will be held on the training of up to 20 unemployed graduates on various skills within the Hospitality Sector to address unemployment.
•             Training or upskilling is proposed for a group of 5 new entrants on adventure guiding.
 
Communication
There is currently no formal framework of collaboration between South Africa and China in the field of Communications, but there have been significant collaborations and consultations, and a new Agreement will be signed during the current PPEM. 
 
Proposed areas of collaboration under the new agreement includes the following:
•             Radio and Television broadcasters to actively cooperate in news coverage, and promotion of cooperation in documentaries, television drama, film and animation.
•             Participation in mutual international and regional radio and television festivals and exhibitions, or other related important events held in their respective countries.
•             Promotion of technical exchange and cooperation in the field of public radio and television broadcasting, and creation of communication and training opportunities for general and technical professionals active in their respective countries.
•             Mutually enriching content and expanding the fields of cooperation.
 
We have made good progress in some areas.  We will deepen this cooperation in these areas.  We are starting out our cooperation in other areas.  And we commit to make the cooperation steady and strong in these areas.
 
Our governments support the PPEM through the signing of agreements, the identification of projects and the allocation of funds.  It is the ordinary South African and Chinese citizens that will be the greatest beneficiary of the PPEM. 
 
Through this PPEM we want to see a deeper cooperation between our two countries through strong bonds of friendship between our people, an enlightened understanding of our cultures, and a commitment to work towards a more just and peaceful world. 
 
I thank you.
 
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