Minister Molewa signs joint declaration of intent between South Africa and the Government of Flanders

21 August 2017


The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa and Minister President of Flanders, His Excellency Mr. Geert Bourgeois have jointly signed the Declaration of Intent for the implementation of the Third Country Strategy Paper (CSP III) on Development Cooperation between the governments of Flanders and South Africa in Pretoria today, 21 August 2017.

The third country strategy paper is the product of a joint consultation process between the Governments of South Africa and Flanders which resulted in an agreement that the CSP III will focus on climate change adaptation. With a funding allocation of 25 million Euros by the Government of Flanders, it is envisaged that the strategy will also contribute to much needed jobs opportunities in the green economy space. The strategy will be implemented over a period of five years (2017 – 2021).

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister Molewa expressed appreciation for the partnership and funding support, saying it will make a contribution to South Africa’s transition to an environmentally sustainable, climate resilient, low carbon inclusive development pathway and a just society as envisioned in the National Development (NDP). “We are certainly excited about this funding, and believe that over and above the job opportunities to be created in the green economy space, the funding will make contribution towards the implementation of the National Climate Change Response policy. Furthermore, the funding will undoubtedly propel the implementation of the NDP, particularly on matters relating to climate change and sustainability.”

In response, His Excellency Mr. Bourgeois "now more than ever, the whole society is being mobilised to work on a more sustainable world. Climate change is a huge challenge, especially to our partnering country South Africa. That is why we want to use our Flemish knowledge, research and development to cooperate in different fields as innovation, social economy and circular economy in order to align with the new Agenda 2030 on sustainable development. This can be done by creating sustainable employment opportunities but also by supporting South Africa to adapt to the effects of climate change that affect them in their daily life and the environment they live in".

The overall objective of CSP III is to contribute to the evidence-based support for climate change adaptation as a means for advancing South Africa’s transition to a climate resilient society and an inclusive adaptive green economy. In this way, the CSP III will also contribute towards addressing South Africa’s triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment as well as the reduction of risk and vulnerabilities associated with climate change.

The CSP III will also foster active participation of multiple actors of government, civil society, private sector, academia, multilateral organisations and local communities on climate change adaptation.

The programme will furthermore contribute to the realisation of the two governments’ respective commitments to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement.

In 1994, the Government of Flanders opted for South Africa to become a priority partner within the Flemish foreign policy. Flemish cooperation initially focused on assistance towards the building of a new, democratic South Africa and subsequently extended to include development cooperation, culture, science and innovation, economy and trade, youth policy and education. This Agreement was further extended in 2002 to include all Flemish competences including cooperation on environment.

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) along with the National Treasury were involved in discussions towards finalising CSPIII. The process was led by the National Treasury as the custodian of Official Development Assistance (ODA) arrangements in the country. The Programme Steering Committee (PSC) consisting of the National Treasury, DEA and Government of Flanders has been established to oversee the implementation of CSPIII and also to ensure that Government priorities are met.

For media queries, contact:

Moses Rannditsheni
Cell: +27 (0)82 448 2450
Department of Environmental Affairs, RSA

Mr Zvi Raman
Cell: +27 (0)76 090 8308
Embassy of Belgium
General Representation of the Government of Flanders

Jointly issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Government of Flanders