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South Africa pledges to help Somalia

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Somali businessmen at the meeting with Deputy minister Marius Fransman held at City Lodge in Bellville, Cape Town (Hassan Isilow)

Somali businessmen at the meeting with Deputy minister Marius Fransman held at City Lodge in Bellville, Cape Town (Hassan Isilow)

The South African government has pledged to assist war-torn Somalia with capacity building of its civil servants. Speaking to Somali business leaders at a hotel in Bellville, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco), Marius Fransman, revealed government had allocated R100-million to provide capacity and institution-building to Somali government officials.
Fransman’s statement comes barely two weeks after government established diplomatic ties with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG). The two countries recently agreed to exchange diplomats, a move analysts believe will advance their relationship. On a different note, the deputy minister advised Somalis to attend the upcoming Africa Day celebrations in Cape Town.

He also said government was greatly concerned about the threat posed by pirates along the coast of Africa, extending down to the Mozambican Channel.

Somali business leaders at the meeting thanked the minister and the South African government for establishing relations with their country. ‘‘We are very grateful to the South African government for establishing relations with our country because this will benefit us enormously,” Abdullahi Ali, a Somali businessman said.

He added that the local Somali community welcomed the new diplomatic relations. “People are hoping the new embassy will now enable Somali’s wishing to travel to South Africa to get direct visas which will make them enter the country legally,” he said, adding this will enormously boost business. Another Somali Nasir Ali said he believes the proposed diplomatic missions in Pretoria and Mogadishu will help strengthen relations between local South African citizens and Somalis living in the country as refugees.

International relations minster Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said earlier this month that diplomatic relations with Somalia would afford SA an opportunity to closely assess the situation in Somalia. She proposed interventions in partnership with Somalis and other key players towards the realization of lasting and meaningful peace in Somalia.

South Africa is home to a large Somali community, which mainly operates in the small scale business sector. During the famine which ravaged Somalia in 2011, the South African government donated R8-million to help starving victims. Somalia has been without an effective government since the ouster of Dictator Mohammed Siyad Barre in 1991. Since then, the Horn of Africa country sank into deadly violence that killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands.(Hassan Isilow)


Written by africawitness

March 21, 2012 at 8:22 am

Posted in Xenophobia

3 Responses

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  1. Good day…I have been taking care of a Somali girls since 20 Nov 2000,when she was 11months old…. Only in Dec 2008 were my husband and I appointed as her legal foster parents…I need to get help getting her South African Citizenship as she is already going to High school next year and I have no idea where her biological parents are… Also,in 2010,my husband and I have been appointed her foster parents until she is 18,Our local Home affairs office in Mitchells Plain has been of no help whatsoever and Home affairs for Foreigners neither… She is extremely afraid of going there since she was very traumatised due to the bad treatment foreigners get there from securities and officails alike… Also,her refugee status expired July 2011,but we were told not to worry about renewing it cos she is a ward of the South African state… Yet,I hit a brick wall constantly when I enquire about getting her permanent residency or citizenship when she has now been in my care for almost 12 years now.. All I want to do is secure my daughter’s future….Plse help me… I am desperate…Mrs S Ryklief

    shafeeqah ryklief

    July 16, 2012 at 6:14 am

    • i could help.if you want my help u can phone me 0735517461


      March 25, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      • Assalamu Alaykum…I only came upon your response now…Would you still be able to assist us with the proble we have getting papers for my daughter as we are still struggling?

        Shafeeqah Ryklief

        January 16, 2016 at 8:43 pm

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