Diplomatic relations and official representation
Official diplomatic relations between Canada and South Africa date back to 1939. Canada has a High Commission located in Pretoria and a trade office based in Johannesburg. There are also Honorary Consulates in Cape Town and Durban.
South Africa has a High Commission inOttawa, a Consulate-General inToronto, and Honorary Consuls inVancouver andSudbury.
South Africa and Canada’s partnership is based on shared values in support of equality, democracy, peace, security and prosperity. Our strong ties today are rooted partially in Canada’s lead role in international efforts in the 1970s to pressure South Africa to dismantle its apartheid system and promote the establishment of a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, democratic society. Since South Africa's transition from apartheid and its first multi-racial elections in 1994, Canada-South Africa relations have been friendly and cooperative. In recognition of his leadership in the fight against apartheid and his efforts to build a new united South Africa, Canada presented Nelson Mandela with honorary citizenship in 2001.
Post-1994, Canada supported South Africa's re-entry into a broad range of multilateral organisations. Since then, the two countries have worked closely on important multilateral issues, including the renewal of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the creation of the World Trade Organization, and the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), which investigates allegations of serious and persistent violations of human rights and democratic principles and recommends measures for collective Commonwealth action. It is worth noting that South Africa's 1996 Constitution and Bill of Rights draw heavily on Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In recognition of the breadth and depth of the partnership between Canada and South Africa, the two countries hold annual bilateral consultations on foreign policy, trade and development issues. These cover issues as diverse as investment, mining, technical cooperation, defence relations, arts and culture, sports and environment.
There has also been a significant increase in level of academic and cultural engagement between the two countries, including the establishment of the South African Association of Canadian Studies. There are currently over 2000 Canadians living in South Africa and over 12 000 South Africans living in Canada.
Canada and South Africa signed a General Agreement on Development Cooperation in 2006. CIDA's programming in South Africa is closely aligned with the country's most important priority areas as identified in the Government of South Africa's Programme of Action 2009-2014. South Africa is committed to strengthening its regulatory and public administration systems and delivering better public health services to its people.
South Africa receives Canadian development assistance through a variety of channels, including direct government-to-government assistance, through Canadian and South African civil society organizations and through international financial institutions. The goal of CIDA's program in South Africa is to help the country improve service delivery in the area of HIV/AIDS, with a focus on children and youth, build accountable public institutions and as well to help South Africa play its regional role on the continent through the sharing of relevant expertise.
Between 1984/85 and 2009/10, CIDA disbursed C$325.12 million through its various delivery channels for development activities in South Africa.
South Africa is a major gateway to the African market and the Canada-South Africa commercial relationship has considerable room to grow. South Africa is Canada's third-largest trading partner in Sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and Angola, with two-way trade reaching approximately $1.6 billion in 2011. Canadian exports to South Africa consist mostly of machinery, cereals, and meat (mainly poultry and pork), while Canadian imports from South Africa consist of motor vehicles, precious stones, fruit and nuts and machinery,
According to Natural Resources Canada, Canadian mining assets in South Africa were over $4.0 billion in 2010. Canada is a major investor in South Africa, with Canadian investments largely focused on the mineral and mining sector, as well as food processing, hospitality, information and communication technologies, and instrumentation sectors. A Double Taxation Agreement has been signed to facilitate trade and investment, between Canada and South Africa.
In addition to the dedicated business development resources at the Canadian High Commission in South Africa, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Trade Facilitation Office of Canada (TFOC) are also active in South Africa.
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