Event Reports

Exploring Rainbow Nation

KAS Vice-Chairwoman Prof. Dr. Beate Neuss journey to South Africa

Looking forward to her eight-day South African journey Prof. Dr. Beate Neuss said: „I have been wishing to travelling to South Africa for a very long time, I am curious especially about the social coexistence of its people and the developments since the end of Apartheid. Many love this beautiful country and of course I want to see it, too.”

Highlight of her journey from January 28th until February 4th 2015 was the conference on “‚25 years since 2 February 1990: a Quarter Century of Building and Defending Non-Racial Constitutional Democracy” which was hosted by FW De Klerk and funded by KAS.

The KAS Vice-Chairwoman shared the stage with highly respected speakers like Former President of SA and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mr FW de Klerk, Former Deputy President Mr Kgalema Motlanthe and the South African businessman Dr. Johann Ruppert.

Dr. Holger Dix, Head of the KAS office in South Africa, declared the event as being extraordinary: “25 years ago, on February 2nd 1990 Former President of SA and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate FW de Klerk held his historical speech in Parliament declaring the end of Apartheid. This years’ event on the development of South Africa’s constitution therefore has an enormous symbolic impact. Prof. Dr. Neuss was about to open the conference and also referred to the German jubilee of 25 years of German Unity and possible parallels.”

Besides the symposium Prof. Dr. Neuss had an interesting and diverse program. She had a meeting with the colleagues of the KAS Country Office and the KAS Regional Media Program and also inaugurated KAS’ worldwide first solar system in Johannesburg. Another highlight was a meeting with the German Ambassador Dr. Horst Freitag in Pretoria.

„We want to introduce our Vice-chairwoman to the activities of KAS in this country and the region as wide-ranging as possible during her first visit to South Africa. Prof. Dr. Neuss therefore is about to have conversations with friends and partners of KAS”, Dr. Dix said. This includes especially the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), one of the two cooperation partners of KAS in South Africa. SAIIA is one of the African top Think Tanks. Prof. Dr. Neuss was provided insight into the cooperation of the KAS Country Office in the field of African foreign policies.

“We also want to benefit from Prof. Dr. Neuss’ academic expertise and therefore invited her to discuss with our partners in Johannesburg and Stellenbosch – the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the University of Stellenbosch – about current challenges in security politics”, Dr. Dix emphasized.

In her meeting with Mr Papenfus CEO of NEASA an employers’ association which represents small medium and micro enterprises, Prof. Dr. Neuss engaged on current topics like minimum wages, collective negotiations and labour laws. At present NEASA is mostly excluded in collective negotiations as the large unions arrange anything among themselves.

On the third day of her stay Prof. Dr. Neuss visited Soweto and the Hector-Pieterson-Museum where she learnt about the history of South Africa . She also had a meeting with Father Michael Lapsley in Cape Town, an anti-apartheid-activist and founder and director of the NGO Healing of Memories South Africa.

She also visited Robben Island,a former prison where Nelson Mandela spent more than 18 years of his imprisonment,taking the topic „Reconciliation in South Africa”.

Prof. Dr. Neuss had discussions with the colleagues of the KAS Cape Town office. Within the framework of a conference on the development of South Africa’s constitution she also met Prince Dr. Mangosuthu Buthelezi, MP at the National Parliament and President of Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).

A discussion forum with representatives of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, KAS and the School for Public on the topic „Insecurity guaranteed: Global challenges and risks“ concluded the journey of the rainbow nation.

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