President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday suggested he would use the next meeting of the President’s Coordinating Council to talk to Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga about his visit to Taiwan, which has angered the government and ruling party.
In a statement from his office, Zuma said he “has noted the ongoing debate” about Msimanga’s five-day visit, which the department of international relations sees as a breach of the South African State’s 'One China' policy.
He recalled that the council is a forum in which he meets with the leaders of local and provincial government to discuss matters relevant to all three spheres of government.
It meets quarterly but has not done so since the local government elections in August.
Zuma said it would do so at “the right time” and foreign policy coordination would be on the agenda.
“The presidency and government as a whole remain committed to sound relations and cooperation between the three spheres of government at all times, and to continuously promote coordination and communication,” he added.
During Msimanga’s five-day visit, the mayor of Taipei granted him the freedom of the city.
The spokesmperson for the department of international relations, Clayson Monyela, has said Msimanga was warned against the trip as it flouted South Africa’s 'One China' policy, adopted after the advent of democracy.
The ANC caucus in Tshwane has accused the mayor of treason.
The One China policy obliges nations seeking diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China, which last year became South Africa’s biggest trading partner, from breaking ties with Taiwan, also called the Republic of China.