SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY MEDIA BREAKFAST ON 27 APRIL 2018
MARMARA HOTEL, ISTANBUL
WELCOME ADDRESS BY AMBASSADOR PULE I MALEFANE
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you this morning.
As many of you will be aware, the South African Embassy traditionally hosts a Media Breakfast during the Freedom Month celebration in April each year. This is to ensure that the South African Embassy strengthens the good contacts we have with the media and that we are able to answer any questions which you may have with respect to South Africa-Turkey relations.
This year is an auspicious one for South Africa as we celebrate the life of liberation struggle icon, former President Nelson Mandela. The stalwart of South Africa’s liberation struggle, a humanitarian and a man of immense personal character, but simply just a man too, as President Mandela often said, he nevertheless provided a fine example of what we can all be as human beings.
The South African Embassy is also pleased to note the strengthening of our ties with Turkey. To date we have had a number of Ministers visiting, the most recent being the Minister of Basic Education who is as we speak, engaging with her Turkish counterpart in Ankara.
We are also hard at work to increase our trade relations with Turkey. Our countries have immense potential which is not reflected in our trade statistics. We have signed a number of Memoranda of Understanding with Turkey’s Chambers of Commerce to assist us in strengthening our trade relations.
We are also very fortunate to have our former President, H E Mr Kgalema Motlanthe visiting Turkey from 24-28 April. President Motlanthe will address the Istanbul universities on the Centenary of Nelson Mandela. We express our thanks to the universities for giving us the opportunity to do this.
The South African Embassy will host a number of events in Istanbul this year. This includes a trade and investment seminar in cooperation with DEIK on 24-25 April, a Nelson Mandela Centenary dinner reception on 27 April and a Nelson Mandela Golf Fund-Raising Day at the Kemer Country Club on 28 April. We are also exhibiting an art exhibition entitled ‘Mandela’s Suitcase and Colours from the World’ at the Kemer Country Club from 24-28 April 2018.
It is important for the Turkish people to get to know South Africa and vice-versa. This makes it easier for us to achieve our goals of increasing trade to the benefit of the people of both countries as well as increase the chances of investment which will enable us to live up to the potential offered by both countries.
We can do this with the assistance of the media which is invaluable in getting our message to the Turkish people.
We once again thank you for supporting our activities in building and strengthening South Africa-Turkey relations. Our countries can only benefit from a strong relationship.
I will be pleased to address any questions which you may have.