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South Africa Lifts Restrictions on the Purchase of Israel Bonds

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South Africa has agreed to allow its nationals to purchase State of Israel Bonds and has lifted restrictions on investments in Israel by South Africans it was announced here at the end of a two-day visit by South Africa’s Finance Minister Owen Horwood. The permission given to the State of Israel Bonds constitutes on exemption from Pretoria’s strict controls on the export of its Rands.

The subjects discussed and the agreements reached were disclosed of a joint press conference by Horwood and his Israeli host. Finance Minister Yigal Harwitz. They told reporters that Israel Bond sales would be permitted up to a total of $25 million for three year periods and South African investors in Israel will be permitted to conduct their transactions at the official rate of exchange in Pretoria which is 30 percent higher than the world rate on the Rand. This will give the investors a substantially higher return.

Hurwitz said he had asked Horwood to allow South African citizens to deduct contributions to the Keren Hayesod from their taxes. He and Horwood also agreed to set up a standing committee of top officials of both countries to meet semi-annually on economic matters. One item on its agenda will be to work out the details of an agreement whereby Israel will buy coal from South Africa for its new coal-fired power plant at Hadera. Another is Israel’s request for fishing rights in South African waters.

Horwood said the issue of apartheid had not been raised in his talk with Hurwitz and other Israeli officials because it would be pointless for either country to enter into the internal policies of the other. Harwitz denied that the government had made on attempt to “play down” Harwood’s visit which was sharply criticized by some opposition members of the Knesset because of his country’s racial policies. Horwood met with Premier Menachem Begin and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

There will be no Daily News Bulletin dated December 25 due to Christmas, a postal holiday. There will also be no Bulletin dated January I due to New Year’s Day, also a postal holiday.

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