The economic and social conditions of South Africa after apartheid were among the areas discussed, when South Africa???s High Commissioner, Maureen Modiselle, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

During the meeting at Government Headquarters on Bay Street recently, High Commissioner Modiselle said that despite the strides made in her country after the fall of apartheid, it was still dogged by poverty and joblessness.

She recounted the efforts that were ongoing by government to improve the conditions of the country, including specially disadvantaged groups. The South African noted that the pace of economic transformation would be a big issue for the African National Congress when they hold elections next year.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said Barbados had been monitoring the developments in the negotiated transition from apartheid to a broader democracy, as well as the hearings from the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. He praised South Africa for managing the challenging transition well.

Mr. Stuart said South Africa was an emerging country that was highly regarded worldwide despite its continuing challenges. He noted that this present global economic downturn had been having a severe impact even on the wealthiest and most advanced countries in the world.

The Prime Minister also commented that the citizens, who did not cause the crises, were the ones who are asked to make the sacrifices.

The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction at the fact that South Africa and Barbados shared a fruitful diplomatic relationship, and said he looked forward to strengthening the existing ties as the relationship developed.

Barbados and South Africa established diplomatic ties on January 4, 1994.

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