Address by His Excellency, President of the Republic of South Africa, President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, to the Parliament of the Republic of Mozambique, on the occasion of the State Visit to Mozambique, Maputo
14 Dec 2011
Your Excellency, President Armando Guebuza;
Honourable Speaker of Parliament; Dr. Verónica Macamo;
Honourable Ministers here present;
Honourable Members of Parliament;
Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Ladies and gentlemen;
It is a humbling honour for me to be invited to address the Parliament of the sister and neighbourly Republic of Mozambique.
Madam Speaker; Please allow me, on behalf of my entire delegation to thank you sincerely for this rare honour given to us to address this august Parliament. May I also thank you for your warm and inspiring words of welcome.
I equally take this opportunity to convey the warmest greetings of our National Parliament to you, Honourable Speaker and all the members of the Mozambican Parliament.
Madam Speaker; Let me also use this opportunity to thank my Brother, President Guebuza, for inviting us to visit this great country.
It has always been my wish to undertake a state visit to Mozambique, a country in which I spent a significant number of years during the dark days of apartheid. Mozambique became a second home to me and many of my fellow compatriots. So for us, this is like a homecoming.
Our visit therefore, Madam Speaker and Honourable Members contrastingly invokes both fond and sad memories.
We remember vividly well the friendship, comradeship and solidarity which were extended to us by the people of Mozambique.
We remember the light and serious moments we shared with the ordinary people on the streets and markets of Maputo city and other towns, as well as in the rural areas.
Madam Speaker; In contrast, we also remember the difficult moments we experienced during those days.
Upper most in our minds are the cross border raids, assassinations, attempted assassinations of our comrades and the unforgettable Matola Raids as well as the suburb of Liberdade. Some of our great leaders lost their lives and lie buried here. Many people of Mozambique were caught in the crossfire and either lost their lives or were maimed.
Madam Speaker and Honourable Members; Our visit seeks to pay homage and respect to the people of Mozambique for their unstinting support for the liberation of the people of South Africa. The support this country gave to us in the fight against apartheid is immeasurable.
As South Africans, we shall never tire to come and say thank you, Kanimambo Mozambique. My two predecessors at some point did come here to say Thank You Mozambique. We are here today to add to the gratitude they expressed.
The people of Mozambique faced hardships while supporting their South African brothers and sisters who were fighting the apartheid monster. They however soldiered on, and the people of South Africa will never forget what this country sacrificed for South Africa to be free.
Ladies and gentlemen; Two months ago, I had the pleasure of participating at the 25th Anniversary Commemoration of former President Samora Moises Machel.
Mozambique is a country that lost its leader, its president in mysterious circumstances because of his support for the liberation of his sisters and brothers across the border, who were still toiling under the yoke of apartheid. Our commitment to a full investigation into the circumstances that led to the demise of one of our own - former President Samora Machel is unwavering.
Our visit is an expression of the strong commitment between our countries to our shared history and solidarity.
We fought along each other during the days of our liberation struggle and against apartheid. Today, we continue to call on our inspirational cry, “Aluta Continua!”. Not very far from this majestic Parliament, Comrade Samora used to address the crowds and roar “Aluta Continua!”
Madam Speaker; Today’s fight is no longer about national liberation, which we obtained. Today’s fight has assumed a different dimension.
The fight is now against destitution, poverty, underdevelopment with the ultimate aim to attain economic and developmental emancipation of all our peoples.
This struggle is proving to be more difficult than we thought. It requires of us to work together in the same manner we did during the fight against colonialism and apartheid.
Friends and comrades; President Guebuza and I had an opportunity to exchange views on the status of our bilateral relations.
During our discussions, we reviewed progress made in various programmes and projects that are currently underway.
We also looked at prospects for new projects which have a potential to uplift the livelihood of our people in both economic and social terms.
We also reflected on bilateral and multilateral issues that have recently characterized our symbiotic relations. In this regard, to give a practical expression to this noble idea we have, inter alia agreed on a framework on Regular Diplomatic Consultations.
This mechanism is one of its kind between South Africa and Mozambique as it will enable the two countries to meet regularly in the Bi-National Commission sessions that are scheduled to meet once a year in each capital of our respective countries.
The bond that binds us together is a strong and special one as it was tied together by the blood of the sons and daughters of the continent who perished fighting against colonialism and apartheid.
Madam Speaker; At the conclusion of discussions yesterday, President Guebuza and I witnessed the signing of agreements and memoranda of understanding which are aimed at deepening and broadening bilateral cooperation. These instruments provide mechanisms to further enhance cooperation between the two countries.
Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen; We have noted with great satisfaction that over the recent past, economic cooperation between South Africa and Mozambique has grown exceedingly well.
We have not only seen trade volumes increasing but also seen encouraging investments from South Africa into the Mozambican economy. Mozambique remains one of South Africa’s top trading partners on the continent.
Madam Speaker; We applaud Mozambique for its investment attractiveness due to its conducive regulatory framework and legislative environment, making the country a model for doing business. South Africa, the region and the continent, have a lot to learn from Mozambique regarding its ability to catch the attention of investors.
We have been successful in utilizing the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) as a catalyst for investments and development in Mozambique. To date, 40 percent of IDC’s financial exposure on the continent is in Mozambique, to the tune of 1.76 billion rand.
The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Industrial Development Corporation, (IDC), have made their largest investments on the continent here in Mozambique.
I am proud that South African investments in Mozambique have become an integral part of efforts to boost economic growth and creating employment opportunities, thus making a contribution in fighting against poverty.
I believe that the commitment shown by South African companies on the Mozambican economic and political stability bodes well for the country as an investment destination.
The exchange of ideas between our governments and private companies’ demonstrate the strengthening of economic ties and development between our two countries.
Madame Speaker; I call upon both our private sectors to identify major investment opportunities for Mozambican companies in South Africa, share knowledge, expertise and technological know-how with each other and identify joint partnerships and joint ventures for the benefit of our people to enjoy a better life.
Madam Speaker; Africa and Australia were short-listed to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope in 2007, the site bid decision is expected in the first half of 2012. South Africa is bidding for the SKA with eight other African partners, namely, Mozambique, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia.
There are three envisaged radio telescope sites in Mozambique. A teaching radio telescope site at the Maluana Science and Technology Park; the Dombe site and Malawi border site for the SKA remote stations. South Africa committed R500 000 for the Maluana Science and Technology Park radio telescope site development and has acquired a 7.6-metre antenna from Telkom that will be dismantled and modified into a radio telescope for the Maluana Science and Technology Park.
Regarding the issue of security, I am happy with the constructive engagement and role that is being played by the South Africa - Mozambique Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security. The Commission met in August 2011 in Cape Town to reflect on security cooperation between the two countries which inter alia dealt with cross-border security threats, International Terrorism, Organized Crime and Border Security.
We encourage our security agents to work together in dealing with the scourge of rhino poaching in our countries. I believe that our joint efforts in dealing with the scourge of rhino-poaching will slowly but surely deliver desired results.
Madam Speaker; The attack by pirates on the Mozambique Channel in 2010 was a wake-up call to the SADC region that we are not immune from this phenomenon. It is clear that our waters and the Mozambique Channel in particular have become an attractive alternative to Somali pirates as they try to avoid the clamp-down of various maritime task forces around the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden, purely by moving into largely unprotected parts of the Indian Ocean.
The recent discovery of oil and gas off the coast of SADC member states, oil exploration activities in the region, and with six million tons of oil being transported around South Africa's western coastline every month, makes this a prime target for pirates.
I am happy that our two countries are dealing with this challenge head-on and continue to explore other ways of cooperation in this area.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Anti-Piracy & Maritime Security between our countries provides an enabling legislative framework for our two countries to further cooperate in dealing with the scourge of piracy in the Mozambican Channel.
Honourable Speaker; One of the critical areas of our cooperation is in the energy sector which emphasizes energy security as a critical part for development in our countries.
South Africa is excited by the opportunities that have been provided by the significant reserves of offshore gas which have been discovered in Mozambique. This bodes well for close cooperation in this sector.
Honourable Members; On the multilateral front, the recent events on the continent and in the Middle East have once again further exposed the weakness that exist within the multilateral system.
To this end, it will be required of us to rededicate our efforts to strengthening the multilateral governance structures as any deviant structure will spell disaster to the global system.
Such a situation will inevitably result in the survival of the fittest syndrome, and the rights of the weak will always be trampled upon.
Madam Speaker; I would like to pause here and thank Mozambique for its constructive engagement during the 17th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP7) that was held in Durban from 28 November to 09 December of 2011.
The stunning outcome of Durban has rescued climate change talks and provided renewed hope for the world. We are proud that such a landmark deal was struck on African soil. It proves that our methods of negotiations and doing things generally in Africa are effective and that we have a lot to teach the world as Africans.
One of the key achievements of this conference was the decision by Governments to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change not later than 2015. Work will begin on this immediately under a new group called the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action.
A significantly advanced framework for the reporting of emission reductions for both developed and developing countries was also agreed, taking into consideration the common but differentiated responsibilities of different countries.
This means that urgent support for the developing world, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable to adapt to climate change, will also be launched on time.
Honourable Members, ladies and gentlemen; In conclusion, I am confident that when we enhance bilateral cooperation between our sister countries, when we work to bring about lasting peace, stability, and development to our continent, we will do so with the unqualified support from this august Assembly of the elected representatives of the people of Mozambique.
Madam Speaker and Your Excellency President Guebuza; Once again, we wish to express our profound gratitude to you and the elected representatives of the people of Mozambique for giving us the honour to address this important arm of the Mozambican state.
We extend our best wishes to you and through you, to all the people of Mozambique in their journey to economic and social development.
Issued by: The Presidency
14 Dec 2011
[ Top ]