SA’s international relations policy direction will be in the spotlight on Monday when Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Luwellyn Landers delivers a lecture on deepening ties with SA’s continental peers and Brics partners (Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA).Picture: REUTERS

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Mr Landers is due to talk at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on Monday on the theme of strengthening the African agenda through the African Union, Brics and the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation.

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SA’s international relations have become a hot-button issue following recent policy decisions that have raised concern, especially among SA’s Western trading partners.

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Last week International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane conceded in Washington that a breakdown in communication between SA and the US needed to be fixed.

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SA’s eligibility to derive trade benefits from the African Growth and Opportunity Act and its refusal to co-operate with the Obama administration in its efforts to cut global stocks of weapons-grade uranium are central to the tensions.

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The Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill has been a source of concern for local and international investors, with many viewing it as hostile. The Department of Trade and Industry defended the bill, saying the Constitution gave enough protection to investors. The bill seeks to replace SA’s bilateral investment treaties with a single piece of legislation. Deliberation will continue in the trade and industry portfolio committee on Tuesday.

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Regulations for special economic zones will come up for discussion at the select committee on trade and international relations on Tuesday, while MPs will be briefed on the implementation of the Mining Framework Agreement.

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The Department of Arts and Culture will brief MPs on Tuesday on the South African Language Practitioners Act and Charter for African Cultural Renaissance; and Treasury officials are due to appear before the standing committee on appropriations to inform parliamentarians about progress made on the Employment Creation Facilitation Fund.

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Statistics SA is on Monday scheduled to release tourist accommodation figures. SA’s visa regulations have been cited as threat to tourism. An interministerial committee led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has been established to review the regulations’ effect on tourism.

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Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Danny Jordaan are on Monday due to announce a government support package for the troubled metro. It is widely expected that Nelson Mandela Bay will be hotly contested next year, with the Democratic Alliance having steadily eroded the African National Congress’d (ANC’s) majority in the region.

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The ANC is hosting a media conference in Johannesburg on Monday on its national general council documents. The media session will be a precursor to the party’s fourth policy meeting, due to take place next month.

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On Friday, President Jacob Zuma is to give a keynote address at the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association’s third national general council in Boksburg.

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