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India - South Africa 20 Years of Strategic Partnership

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High Commission of India

India - South Africa: 20 Years of Strategic Partnership

India’s links with the struggle for freedom and justice in South Africa date back to the period during which Mahatma Gandhi started his Satyagraha movement in South Africa over a century ago. India was at the forefront of the international community in its support to the antiapartheid movement; it was the first country to sever trade relations with the apartheid Government (in 1946). The ANC maintained a representative office in New Delhi from the 1960s onwards.

  Following talks between the then South African Government and the ANC, India’s relations with South Africa were restored with the opening of a Cultural Centre in Johannesburg in May 1993. Diplomatic and consular relations with South Africa were restored in November 1993. A Consulate General was established in Johannesburg. The Indian High Commission in Pretoria and the Consulate General in Durban was opened in May 1994. A permanent office of the High Commission was opened in Cape Town in 1996, which has been re-designated as Consulate General of India from January 2011. South Africa has its High Commission in Delhi and a Consulate General in Mumbai.

Against the background of India’s consistent support to the anti-apartheid struggle, there has been a steady consolidation of our close and friendly ties with South Africa, both bilaterally and through BRICS, IBSA and other Fora.

  Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi paid an official visit to South Africa from July 7-9, 2016. President Mr Jacob Zuma attended the 8th BRICS Summit in Goa, India from 15-16 October 2016, the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit from 27-29 October, 2015, the 4th BRICS Summit in March 2012 and paid a State Visit to India in June 2010.

The 9th India-South Africa Joint Ministerial Commission meeting was held in Durban on 19 May 2015.

The 8th round of India-South Africa Foreign Office Consultations were held in Pretoria on 12-13 May 2016. The next round is to take place in New Delhi in January, 2018

Bilateral trade figures are as follows:

2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
India’s Exports 4731.17 5106.93 5074.29 5,301.99 3588.74 3554.43
India’s Imports 9973.11 8887.89 6075.26 6,496.52 5948.42 5813.22
Total Trade 14704.29 13994.82 11149.55 11798.51 9537.16 9367.65

Source: Ministry of Commerce, GOI Figures in million US$

Exports from India to South Africa include vehicles and components thereof, transport equipment, drugs and pharmaceuticals, engineering goods, footwear, dyes and intermediates, chemicals, textiles, rice, gems and jewellery, etc. Import from South Africa to India include gold, steam coal, copper ores & concentrates, phosphoric acid, manganese ore, aluminum ingots & other minerals.

The third India-South Africa CEOs forum was held in Pretoria during the visit of Prime Minister of India to South Africa in July, 2016. During the meeting of the India-South Africa CEO’s Forum 8 MoUs were signed.

A Programme of Cooperation (POC) between India and South Africa was signed in 2016 during the visit of Prime Minister of India to South Africa.

A programme of cultural exchanges is organised throughout South Africa including scholarships for South African nationals. In addition to such cultural programming, a ‘Shared Histories’ Festival organized as a public-private partnership is also held, which held its eleventh edition in 2017 in Johannesburg.

In FY 2016-17, a total of 80 ITEC/SCAAP slots were allocated to South Africa and 30 slots were utilized. ICCR offered a total of 52 slots to South Africa in 2016-17 out of which 48 slots were utilised

The South African Indian origin community numbers around 1.5 million and constitutes about 3% of South Africa’s total population. About 80% of the Indian community lives in the province of KwaZulu Natal, about 15% in the Gauteng (previously Transvaal) area and the remaining 5% in Cape Town. South Africans of Indian origin are well-represented in Government, business, media, legal and other professions. The year 2010 marked the 150th anniversary of the first arrival of Indians in South Africa. 2014 marked 100 years of Gandhiji’s final departure to India from South Africa; he reached India on 9th Jan 1915; this date is now commemorated annually as Pravasi Bhartiya Divas.

Useful Resources

Website of High Commission of India: http://www.hcisouthafrica.in/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/indiainsouthafrica

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hci_pretoria


September 13, 2017