SA–Indonesian ties speak of promising future for KZN, Newsline

DURBAN – A newly reformed alliance between the South African government, in particular the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, and Indonesia promises a bright future for the economic and social development of the province.

KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) Nomusa Dube-Ncube met the Indonesian delegation on Tuesday at the Hilton hotel in the Durban central business district.

The Indonesian delegation consisted of the Indonesian ambassador Salman Al Farisi, honorary consul general Ebrahim Patel and the CEO of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Palesa Phili.

The aim of the meeting was to establish healthier trade relationships between the two nations, especially in the KwaZulu-Natal province.

“There are concrete projects we are looking at, such as the potential to supply Indonesia with beef, but not only Indonesia, for the rest of Asian countries, which is more than 600 million communities,” said Dube-Ncube.

“We have already identified some areas of co-operation that we will promote in the near future,” said Al Farisi.

The MEC explained that while maintaining country-to-country relations was important, what made it valuable was the people-to-people relationships.

Dube-Ncube said that as a province with approximately 36% of the population aged between 15 and 34 years, it was vital that the relationships stemming from the meeting with Indonesia helped develop the youth in the province.

“I want to state that in expanding economic opportunities, special focus must be pursued for the youth as they constitute the majority of our population,” said Dube-Ncube.

The MEC said that the Covid-19 pandemic had also helped the department highlight a shortage of skills within the engineering, science and technology, accounting, agriculture and health sectors. However, she also plans to use the pandemic to the province’s advantage.

“As KZN, we are busy reconstructing our economy and this is a really good time for us to take advantage of these opportunities and build from the relations from which we’ve just discussed,” Dube-Ncube said after a sitting with the Indonesian delegation.

“For us, KwaZulu-Natal is very important as a gateway for Indonesia to reach not only South Africa but also the whole African continent,” said Al Farisi.

-African News Agency (ANA)