China to place SA officials on skills development programme

Pretoria - China has agreed to a placement of South African government officials and business leaders on a training and skills development programme, said the Presidency on Sunday.

“The Chinese Academy of Governance agreed to a placement of South African government officials and business leaders on a training and skills development programme.

“South Africa's National School of Government will finalise details with counterparts in the Chinese Academy of Governance. Initiatives are already underway to identify relevant training programmes for public service managers,” said the Presidency.

This among others were the key outcomes of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to China which wrapped up on Friday.

Deputy President Ramaphosa arrived back to South Africa on Sunday following a trip from 13 to 17 July 2015.

According to the Presidency, the bilateral discussions with Vice President Li Yuanchao and Premier Li Kieqang reaffirmed the important strategic relationship between South Africa and China.

Among the key outcomes of the trip is that China will continue to work with South Africa in implementing the five to ten year strategic programme of cooperation signed during the South Africa State visit to China in December 2014.

In addition, to reinforce the commitment made during President Jacob Zuma's state visit to China, in December 2014, it was further agreed that six priority areas identified for 2015 will be implemented.

China will assist South Africa to advance its industrialisation process; develop its special economic zones as well as to fast-track its infrastructure build programme.

China will also assist the country to develop its oceans economy; develop its human resources and access development finance.

In addition, South Africa and China will extend the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Public Enterprises and State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) on the management of state owned enterprises (SOEs).

This aims to enhance the capacity of the state to position SOEs to drive industrialisation and unlock private sector investment between the two countries. This builds on the strong relationship that already exists between South African and Chinese SOEs.

Each of the companies the Deputy President met with expressed an interest in establishing or expanding existing operations in South Africa. Several undertook to provide training opportunities to young South Africans in China.

This included a firm offer from Huawei to support a five-year ICT training programme for 1 000 South African students aiming to pursue a career in technology and innovation.

The visit also provided an opportunity for the Deputy President and his delegation to examine how lessons from the Chinese model of state-owned enterprises could assist South Africa in promoting industrialisation and economic development.

The Deputy President visited the Chinese Academy of Governance, met with the Chairperson of SASAC and exchanged views about building the capacity of SOE managers and strengthening governance and accountability.

During his visit, the Deputy President also addressed the South Africa-China State Owned Enterprises Seminar in Beijing, which was attended by representatives of South African and Chinese SOEs.

He also visited the Beijing Economic Technological Development Area, which has successfully combined innovative urban development with industrial and commercial development.

Deputy President Ramaphosa also paid visits to Qingdao and Shenzhen and met with senior executives of several companies, including Haier, Hisense, Huawei, the China Rail Company, the China Merchant Group, ZTE and the Mayor of Shenzhen.

Deputy President Ramaphosa also visited the Shenzhen Comprehensive Traffic Command Centre, which is an integral part of Shenzhen's smart city concept.

He led a senior government delegation comprising Ministers Blade Nzimande and Lynne Brown and Deputy Ministers Nomanindia Mfeketo, Mcebisi Jonas, Thembi Majola and Mzwandile Masina.

The delegation also included senior government officials and executives of several state-owned enterprises, including Telkom, Eskom, Denel and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).