South Africa is one of the many non-member economies with which the OECD has working relationships in addition to its 34 member countries. The OECD Council at Ministerial level adopted a resolution on 16 May 2007 to strengthen the co-operation with South Africa, as well as with Brazil, China, India and Indonesia, through a programme of enhanced engagement.
The OECD's collaboration with South Africa spans a wide array of policy issues, including macroeconomic policy and structural reform, debt management, fiscal policy, domestic resource mobilisation, competition policy, agricultural policy, public governance, rural and urban development, the fight against bribery, development, science, technology and innovation, chemicals testing and tourism.
As we work together, South African policy makers gain access to OECD expertise and good policy practices; the OECD, in turn, benefits from exposure to South African policy perspectives in order to enhance mutual learning.
H.E. Mr. Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa, at OECD heaquarters, February 2014.
South Africa is Africa’s largest economy and it is usually the “prime mover” for OECD activities supporting the objectives of NEPAD, especially in Southern Africa, on taxation, investment, competition policy and governance. It values the opportunity to discuss major policy issues and challenges in a multilateral context and to learn from the experiences of OECD countries facing similar challenges in many areas. As the OECD and South Africa deepen their collaboration, South African policy makers gain access to OECD expertise and good policy practices; the OECD, in turn, benefits from exposure to South African policy perspectives, to enhance mutual learning.
How is the co-operation co-ordinated?
The OECD’s Global Relations Secretariat develops and oversees the strategic orientation of this relationship and ensures that the dialogue remains focused, forward-looking and mutually beneficial. Usually, meetings are held between South African officials and experts from OECD countries and the OECD Secretariat, on topics mutually agreed on and jointly prepared with analytical studies.
South Africa's participation in OECD activities
South Africa is an Associate in 7 OECD Bodies and Projects, and a Participant in 13. It has also adhered to 11 OECD instruments, including, most recently, the Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters (2014). South Africa also participates in various OECD flagship projects, publications and databases, e.g., the Economic Outlook, Going for Growth, Employment Outlook, OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook, Pensions at a Glance, the Science, Technology and Industry Outlook and the Programme on Institutional Management in Higher Education. South Africa’s official statistical data is also included in almost half of all OECD datasets. It also participates in key horizontal projects, such as the OECD Strategy on Development and the Green Growth Strategy.
South Africa has championed several of the OECD’s regional initiatives with sub-Saharan Africa (e.g. it hosts the Centre for African Public Debt Management and Bond Markets, the first OECD facility of its kind in a non-OECD country, which was created in 2011 following the signing of an MOU between South Africa’s National Treasury and the OECD, ). The country also actively participates in the work of the OECD Network on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in Southern Africa, and the work undertaken with the African Tax Administration Forum.