/ 29 October 2009

South Africa to help reconstruct DRC

South Africa is committed to helping the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reconstruct and develop, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Thursday.

”We also wish to commend the current regional efforts between the DRC and its neighbours to address challenges of peace and security in the eastern part of the DRC,” she said at bilateral talks in Pretoria.

Since its inception in August 2004 the countries’ bi-national commission had been useful in conceiving, implementing and monitoring of projects between them.

These included security sector reform, capacity and institution building, humanitarian assistance, infrastructure development and electoral support.

”There is noticeable progress in some of these fields, while in others we can safely say that there is work in progress and scope for improvement.

”The challenges that lie ahead are indeed enormous, though not insurmountable.”

She congratulated the DRC for assuming the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community.

”We firmly believe that SADC is in the right hands and poised to move forward in its regional development programme.

”In this regard, South Africa remains ready to work closely with the DRC during her tenure as chair of our regional body,” said Nkoana-Mashobane. — Sapa