South African Free Trade Agreements
The EPA contributes to improving the business climate between partners by providing businesses with a stable and forward-looking environment in South Africa and throughout the African region. It contributes to the promotion of bilateral and regional trade and thus offers new opportunities to achieve the objectives of the strategic partnership between South Africa and the EU. Since the EU and South Africa concluded a Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) in 1999, the two sides have maintained strong and growing trade relations. In June 2016, the EU and South Africa signed the Southern Africa Economic Partnership Agreement (SADC EPA), which governs merchandise trade between the two regions, with Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland, which governs merchandise trade between the two regions, replacing the TDCA`s trade provisions. In March 2018, three separate agreements were signed at the 10th African Union extraordinary meeting on AfCFTA: the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the Kigali Declaration; and the protocol on the free movement of people. The Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons aims to create a visa-free zone within AfCFTA countries and to support the creation of the African Union passport.  At the Kigali Summit on 21 March 2018, 44 countries signed the AfCFTA, 47 signed the Kigali Declaration and 30 signed the protocol on the free movement of persons. Although a success, there were two remarkable holdouts: Nigeria and South Africa, the two largest economies in Africa.    South Africa has signed numerous agreements with its trading partners in recent years. The country also benefits from a number of non-reciprocal trade agreements, including the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Generalized Preference System. The SAfCFTA secretariat is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the agreement and is an autonomous body within the AU system. Although it has an independent legal personality, it will work closely with the AU Commission and receive its AU budget. The Council of Ministers responsible for trade will decide on the headquarters, structure, role and responsibilities.
 The African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government is the highest decision-making body. It will probably meet during the AU summit.  The Council of Trade Ministers provides strategic trade oversight and ensures the effective implementation and implementation of the AfCFTA agreement.  The agreement was negotiated by the African Union (AU) and signed on 21 March 2018 by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda.   The agreement first requires members to remove tariffs on 90% of goods, allowing free access to goods, goods and services across the continent.  The UN Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52% by 2022.  The proposal is expected to enter into force 30 days after ratification by 22 of the signatory states.  On 2 April 2019, The Gambia became the 22nd state to ratify the Convention and on 29 April, the Sahrawi Republic tabled the 22nd filing of ratification instruments; The agreement entered into force on 30 May and entered its operational phase following a summit on 7 July 2019.  Several committees have been established for trade in goods, trade in services, rules of origin, remedial measures, non-tariff barriers, technical barriers to trade, and health and plant health measures.  Dispute resolution rules and procedures are still being negotiated, but should also include the appointment of a dispute resolution authority.
 The Committee of Senior Trade Officials implements the Council`s decisions.