Flanders approves climate change subsidy for South Africa


The region’s development co-operation strategy for southern Africa continues, with a new subsidy for climate change pilot projects and a tax treaty with Botswana

Sustainable development in seven countries

As part of its co-operation strategy Flanders and Southern Africa: Partners in a Changed World, the Flemish government took two steps over the last few days: approved a subsidy for climate change awareness in South Africa and signed a tax treaty with Botswana.

The €4 million subsidy in South Africa will go to local initiatives that assist vulnerable communities in adapting to the effects of climate change. The project is being co-ordinated by the South African department of environmental affairs, which is responsible for the country’s response to challenges posed by rising global temperatures and for the switch to more green economies.

More than half the subsidy has been earmarked for pilot projects in local communities. Flanders and South Africa this year signed a five-year strategy plan to jointly tackle the effects of climate change in the country.

Also last week, the general representation of the government of Flanders in southern Africa signed a tax treaty between Belgium and Botswana. This will prevent expats in either country or individuals living and working between countries from being doubly taxed, including property taxes. It also assists businesses with concerns in both countries from being unfairly taxed – or from paying too little tax.

Flanders has a long-running partnership with seven countries in southern Africa, part of its Visie 2050 agenda. The partnership agreements are focused on sustainable development that is based on solidarity, equality, co-operation and international law.

Photo: South Africa’s minister of environmental affairs Edna Molewa and Flemish minister-president Geert Bourgeois
©Flanders Department of Foreign Affairs