From transition to transformation
I am excited to receive the baton from my predecessor and I look forward to continuing to work as closely as possible with you; keeping you in the loop on matters that the Consulate General gets involved in.
South Africa’s democracy is maturing. By the way, we will be turning 20 years on the 27th of April in 2014. We look back into history, with humility and appreciation for the sacrifices and selflessness by men and women in South Africa; the support and assistance from many of our friends all over the world, who were equally consumed and seized by the plight of the masses in South Africa then – and they responded in the appropriate manner.
I am writing to you at the time when our icon, former President Mr. Nelson Mandela, whom we affectionately call Tata or Madiba, has over the past few months been in and out of hospital, for routine check up. We pray for his speedy recovery.
Thank you, Madiba and all our other struggle icons, heroes and heroines who helped in delivering the democracy and freedom that we so much cherish and enjoy. It is due to limited space and scarcity of time that one has singled out Madiba as the embodiment of the collective sacrifice and contribution by them all.
We are now in the second phase of our struggle; to grow our economy and rid South Africa of those pockets of hard core poverty, joblessness and all the other matters that derive their existence from these. It is the struggle to transform the economy of South Africa and continue to allow our hard-earned democracy to mature and flourish for the benefit of all who live in it; and doing that not in isolation from our neighbours, the region and our continent, namely Africa. As part of the international community, we continue to seek ways and means in which we could contribute towards a better world in which peace, harmony and mutual co-existence may be given a chance as we grow our economies, continually ensure political stability and enrich our democracies.
A leader is a leader because he/she acknowledges that he/she stands on the shoulders of so many others. As recently as the 16th of June 2013, we reminisced, celebrated and paid tribute to South Africa’s Youth of 1976 for the gutsy and gallant manner in which they stood toe to toe against the apartheid machinery – thus delivering yet another telling blow to the then immoral system that not only oppressed, jailed, maimed and would kill with impunity but also sought to ensure that Black people (black in an all-inclusive sense) remained continually subservient and second class citizens in the land of their birth right. How sad? Rhetorically, could there be any worst crime against humanity than that?
Thank you the Youth of 1976.
South Africa, the resilient country that we are, successfully hosted world class events such as the Rugby World Cup 1995, Africa Cup of Nations 1996, World Summit on Sustainable Development, Cricket World Cup, FIFA Soccer World Cup 2010, COP 17 in March 2012, 5th BRICS Summit in March 2013 and several other major events.
It would be perverse; to endeavour to indicate the Mission’s purpose without first introducing the writer/author.
I am Manabile Shogole, South Africa’s new Consul-General to Dubai and the Northern Emirates. My wife, Ms. Matseliso Shogole and I arrived in Dubai on the 16th of May 2013 and we have been pleasantly surprised by the many things that we had read about pertaining to the United Arab Emirates; the landscape, building and construction, infrastructure development, socio-business culture tendencies and many other aspects that make the United Arab Emirates tick. It is interesting.
The South African Consulate General in Dubai, in close working relationship with the South African Embassy in Abu Dhabi has a responsibility to accelerate the promotion of Trade, Investment, Tourism, Technology and Skills transfer, Culture, Education, etc between South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.
Total Trade between South Africa and the UAE has been very interesting to observe; the same applies to Foreign Direct Investment from the UAE into South Africa and vice versa. Watch the space!!!
Since our arrival in Dubai, we have had the opportunity to interact with a broad spectrum of people and I am convinced, to the very core of my existence, that together (the Mission and your good selves) will raise the bar on economic cooperation between the private sectors in South Africa and the UAE; thus bringing to fruition the transformation agenda and socio-economic imperatives as already alluded to, above.
Arrangements are being made for a meeting with the South African Business Council (SABCO), the South African Women Association and other South African formations on the ground in the UAE and other relevant stakeholders with a view to exploring areas for possible cooperation.
Registration of South Africans Abroad (ROSA): I implore all South Africans in this part of the world to register themselves online (www.dirco.gov.za/consular/index.html) or by visiting the Mission for possible assistance in this regard.
My wife and I look forward to working with you as we seek to enhance relations between South Africa and the UAE and as we champion the African Agenda in this part of the world.