The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Trade & Industry, Ebrahim Patel, that South Africa, along with five other African countries have concluded a post-BREXIT trade deal with the United Kingdom (UK), after it leaves the European Union.
This agreement is effectively the same deal that allowed South African businesses and farmers to trade with the UK through the European Partnership Agreement which gives us preferential access to these markets, duty free.
While this deal is a welcome sigh of relief for our ailing economy – especially for our agricultural and financial sectors – it still remains vitally important that Minister Patel accedes to the DA’s call to table an Executive Members statement in Parliament. This will allow all political parties to express themselves on this matter as it will be Parliament that will ultimately have to ratify this agreement.
South Africa currently exports R140 billion worth of goods to the UK, R10 billon of which comes from the Western Cape from industries such as fruit and wine. Additionally, this deal will support more than 175 000 jobs.
The DA believes that this agreement will give the business community the confidence it needs to invest in long term production and capacity which will result in increased jobs.
We trust that this agreement will provide a perfect platform to keep the status quo into the future and will allow South Africa to build on future trade negations with the UK to widen our ability to export to this market, especially in agricultural products like beef and poultry.