Annex to the Institutionalisation of the South African Customs Union (SACU) Summit Ms Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (DTI), presented to the Committee the Annex to the Institutionalisation of the SACU Summit and highlighted the context, the 2002 SACU Agreement, the decisions of the Heads of State and Government, the objectives of the Annex, the role of the summit and the procedural and legal implications. South Africa was a signatory to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), the world`s oldest customs union since 1910. After verification, the 1969 agreement was born. The SACU agreement was then renegotiated and signed in 2002 and entered into force on 15 July 2004. The highest decision-making institution of the 2002 agreement was the Council of Ministers. In 2004, it had established a secretariat organized by Namibia. The first meeting of SACU Heads of State and Government was held on the 22nd At this meeting, the Heads of State and Government decided that SACU should have a summit that would be the highest decision-making body and that there would be political and strategic orientations. The annex to the institutionalisation of the summit was developed and adopted by the Council in 2012 and signed by the Heads of State and Government at a meeting in Botswana in 2013. The objective of the summit was to facilitate cross-border trade in goods between the territories of the Member States; create effective, transparent and democratic institutions that guarantee Member States fair trade advantages; promoting a level playing field in the common customs area; significantly increase investment opportunities in the common customs area; improving the economic development, diversification, industrialisation and competitiveness of the Member States; promote the integration of Member States into the world economy by strengthening trade and investment; facilitate a fair distribution of revenues from Member States` customs duties, excise duties and additional levies; and to facilitate the development of common policies and strategies. The main objective of the Annex was to provide for the establishment of the Summit as an additional SACU institution within the meaning of Article 8(8) of the 2002 SACU Convention. It would also provide heads of State with the opportunity to provide strategic and political guidance to the Council of Ministers.
The role of the summit was to advance the political and strategic direction of SACU, to discuss some of the reports of the Council of Ministers, which required strategic guidance, to meet from time to time to assess the progress of the implementation of SACU agreements, policies, strategies and work programmes, to provide strategic oversight of the implementation of the five-point plan; and strengthening united engagement in trade negotiations. The DDG explained to the Committee the proposed amendments: Article 1 – amends Article 1 (definitions) of the 2002 Agreement by providing for the definition of the summit. . . .