01 March 2024

Meeting Of The SACU Task Team On Regional Integration - Remarks The Executive Secretary, Ms Tswelopele Moremi

3 July 2007

Windhoek, Namibia
Permanent Secretaries
Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great honour once more to address you on the work activities of the SACU Task Team on Regional Integration. Firstly, I would like to welcome our new Chairperson and congratulate him on his assumption of the Chair. I have full confidence that he will carry out his duties in an esteem manner as his predecessor.

Secondly, I would like to thank the Government of Namibia for hosting this meeting in Windhoek and for their gracious hospitality.

I am happy to report that significant developments took place as regards to SACUís work on regional integration.

As indicated by the Chairperson, the SACU Task Team has commissioned empirical studies that would provide a technical basis for the unfolding process on regional integration. The SACU Secretariat has coordinated the process of commissioning the studies by calling for tenders on the studies on the 2 June 2007. As a result, numerous responses on expression of interest were received. The closure for the date of the Tender was on the 29th June 2007 and a number of proposals were received.

It is our intention that a special SACU Task Team meeting should be convened soon to investigate and evaluate the tenders which should lead to the commissioning process, once a suitable consultantsí has been identified to undertake the two studies.

As you are aware, Council has directed the Task Team to develop a SACU Strategy for consolidation for SACU and for positioning SACU to respond to regional and global developments. Council adopted the key themes for a SACU wide strategy and directed the Task Team on Regional Integration Secretariat to provide a progress report on the Strategy in June 2007 and a comprehensive strategy by September 2007. Council has also decided to position SACU to be used as a nucleus for the SADC Customs Union under a variable geometry.

The process of developing the SACU wide Strategy has commenced and is currently work in progress.

An external resource has been contracted to develop as a preparatory work, an environmental scanning analysis of SACU.

The environmental scanning analysis is completed and will be presented to the SACU Task Team today. The purpose of this presentation is to solicit inputs from the SACU Task Team which will finally be consolidated into a comprehensive report for consideration to the finalisation of the SACU Strategy in September 2007.

It is also in this light that I would like to propose as a way forward, with the completion of the environmental scanning phase, that SACU Task Team will consider to develop a detailed Terms of Reference that would set out the Strategy Development and Strategy Implementation process.

Another issue which should be carefully addressed by SACU is the possible admission of new members, including the criteria for such admission. The item is on the agenda and we would like to get guidance from the SACU Task Team on how to move forward with this issue.

In conclusion, I would like to urge the SACU Task Team to engage in open and frank discussions to assist in moving the process forward on these critical issues.

I thank you.