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On the 2nd of November last year (2015) South African President Jacob Zuma and Chinese President Chinese Xi Jinping officiated 26 new trade and skill-based transfer related agreements on President Jinping’s first state visit to South Africa. During this visit the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was established and deals between both countries worth R96 billion were pledged.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (centre) and South African President Jacob Zuma leave for a meeting after an arrival ceremony for Xi at the Union Buildings, in Pretoria, on December 2, 2015. Picture: Karel Prinsloo

A Special Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in health and medical sciences was countersigned by Chinese Health Minister Li Bin and South African Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsaolaedi, which included a strong focus on introducing of Traditional Chinese Medicine into our healthcare system and collaborative research on traditional medicines.


On Wednesday this week this memorandum started bearing fruit with the launch of the first South African branch of the Beijing based Traditional Chinese Medicine Manufacturing Company, Tong Ren Tang Technologies Co. Ltd.

Tong Ren Tang produce a large range of OTC Traditional Chinese Medicine products, which are according its website, are researched and developed in Switzerland and manufactured in China.

The company have over 2000 retail outlets spanning the globe, and plan to open another 200 new stores in 2017. It is understood that the company is readying to open three new retail stores in South Africa and investigating the possibility of opening a hospital/clinic in the Western Cape.

The local head office was officially opened by Dr. Nkosizana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union, and who was our Health Minister between 2004 and 2009.



Dr Zuma tweeted the following from her official twitter account while attending the launch.




Also in attendance at the launch were other senior government officials from both countries.

We believe that this launch marks a shift in recent government policies which have stifled and suppressed traditional and natural health products.

With Dr Nkosizana Dlamini Zuma tipped to be our next State President in 2019, we are certain that her administration will advance traditional and natural healthcare in South Africa in future.

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