Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. Photo: Leon Nicholas.

Pretoria - South Africa will urge an extension of the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa) at the US-Africa leaders' summit, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Monday.

“We believe the Agoa has been a useful platform... and we are calling for an extension for 15 years,” he told reporters in Pretoria.

“Fifteen years will allow certainty for investment,” he said.

The Agoa is a non-reciprocal preferential scheme, which applies only to United States imports from eligible sub-Saharan African countries, of which South Africa is one.

Davies said South Africa believed extending the Agoa would be mutually beneficial.

Last year total trade between South Africa and the US was R130 billion, which was reasonably balanced, he said.

There were also around 600 US companies active in South Africa.

The final decision to renew the Agoa was a US Congress decision.

“Agoa has huge advantages... it builds goodwill,” Davies said.

The US-Africa leaders' summit, where the issue would be discussed, would be held in Washington DC from August 4 to 6.

Davies said he would be among the Cabinet ministers accompanying President Jacob Zuma on the trip.

This would be the first ever summit of its type. - Sapa