Representatives of the Atlanta-based South African American Business Association (SAABA) and Birmingham’s annual international festival are planning a trade mission to South Africa together next month after both canceled separate visits due to the terrorist events of Sept. 11.

          The joint mission was announced last week at a SAABA luncheon held at the World Trade Center Atlanta welcoming delegations from South Africa’s Western Cape and Northern provinces.

          Twenty South African businessmen and women were involved in the delegations seeking investment in their provinces and business relationships in the Southeast. They met with some 40 local counterparts at the luncheon.

          Iris Gross, executive director of the Birmingham International Festival, said that her city’s annual international festival would focus on South Africa next year.

          The festival will be held from April 19-21, and will feature business, cultural and educational programs. Sheila Sisulu, South Africa’s ambassador to the U.S., is scheduled to attend a dinner in her honor to be held in Birmingham on April 20.

          SAABA and the Birmingham officials will arrange appointments for Alabama and Georgia companies interested in developing ties with companies and economic development organizations in the Cape Town and Johannesburg areas.

          For more information, call Mr. Botha, SAABA’s director, at (404) 252-1867 or Ms. Gross, the festival’s executive director, at (205) 252-7652 or send an e-mail to