25. November 2013

South African Statement for the Meeting of the IAEA Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee (TACC), 25-27 November 2013, to be delivered by the Republic of South Africa to the International Atomic Energy Agency

Agenda Item 2


At the outset allow me to congratulate you upon your election as the Chairman of the Board of Governors and be assured of our support and cooperation.

My delegation fully associates itself with the statements made on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and the Africa Group, and would like to thank Deputy Director General Aning for introducing this item, as well as the staff of the TC Department for the relevant technical briefing provided to Member States on 30th October 2013, on the documents before us for our consideration. 


My delegation is of the view that, as the Agency strengthens its collaboration with international organisations to maximise the impact of food and agriculture, health and nutrition, water resources and environmental projects, there is a growing awareness of the important role of peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology in socio-economic development.

South Africa continues to contribute to and to benefit from the Technical Cooperation Programme. The main areas for South Africa’s collaboration with the IAEA are in agriculture, water resources management, public health, nuclear energy, environmental management and integrated pollution control, higher education programmes and capacity building.  For the biennium 2014-2015 South Africa has proposed four new projects. My delegation is pleased that these projects are partially supported through core funding and remains hopeful that additional funds from extra-budgetary resources would be secured for full implementation of these projects. 

One project focuses on developing and strengthening the regulatory infrastructure and human capacity to licence and expand the use of nuclear and radiation applications.  There is also a nuclear medicine and diagnostic imaging programme which aims to establish a national pre-clinical imaging facility, as well as radiotherapy and medical physics programme which intends to develop a national audit system on clinical radiotherapy and medical physics. Recognising that nuclear energy is an important source of national electricity production, South Africa is also in the process of developing integrated energy planning including a nuclear power programme extension. 

The Agency’s continued support to assure the full implementation of these projects is appreciated.

South Africa has two ongoing projects for 2014-2015, one which is aimed at establishing a regional centre of expertise and experimental capabilities in neutron beam techniques at the SAFARI-1 research reactor and another which is assessing the Sterile Insect Technique for Malaria Mosquitoes in South Africa. My country is investing substantial efforts and resources in eradicating Malaria, the fruit fly and the Tsetse fly.  My delegation thanks the Agency for its valuable support on these projects. 


South Africa has been playing a key role as a partner in TC and the Africa Regional Cooperation Agreement for Research, Training and Development related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA) activities, providing advisory assistance to AFRA States, hosting AFRA meetings, regional training courses, as well as providing services through Regional Designated Centres to host fellowships in the Region. Over the last four years South Africa hosted more than 200 scientific fellows and close to 400 participants in courses, meetings and workshops as well as providing more than 500 experts in all fields of the Agency’s activities. The Agency’s support through the TC Programme in Africa is an important tool in the continent’s efforts to achieve sustainable development and poverty alleviation.

In addition to the support South Africa provides to the TC and to AFRA activities, we are also contributing to the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE) established under the Treaty of Pelindaba which, inter alia encourages regional and sub-regional cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology and promotes international cooperation with extra-zonal states for the peaceful uses of science and technology.

My delegation is pleased to note that, as in the past, South Africa has always honoured its financial obligations for the TCF and the Regular Budget, and has recently at the General Conference, again pledged in full its share of the 2014 TCF. South Africa calls on Member States to make their payments to the TCF in full and on time to ensure the full implementation of the TC programme and projects.  


The Nuclear Application Laboratories are essential to the work of the Agency and all Member States have recognized the need for their modernization.  My delegation calls upon all Member States to support the ReNuAL project and we would like to again commend Japan for its contribution in support of this project and thank the US for its in-kind contribution.    

With these comments South Africa recommends that the Committee forward the proposed programme as contained in document GOV/2013/49 and its agenda to the Board of Governors for its approval.

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