Remarks by Deputy President Zuma at the Working Breakfast with South African Business People, Lusaka Zambia 3 June 2005

Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Members of the South African Business community,
South African High Commissioner to Zambia,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to interact with my compatriots outside the borders of our country.

We are pleased that the South African business community has found opportunities in Zambia, as this serves to enhance linkages between our two countries, in pursuit of development and economic growth. Your presence in the Republic of Zambia provides us with an opportune moment to begin to make a meaningful contribution towards the economic development of a country that was at the forefront of the liberation of our country from the yoke of apartheid.

As you know, we are on a two-day official visit aimed at enhancing and strengthening relations with Zambia at all levels. We have had a wonderful reception from our brothers and sisters in the Zambian government, and truly feel at home in this country that we regard as our second home.

I had very fruitful discussions yesterday with His Excellency Vice President Lupando Mwape in Livingstone. Our Ministers and Deputy Ministers from the respective delegations also held bilateral discussions on various areas of cooperation.

We are satisfied with the progress made, and believe that the visit has served to take our relations to a higher level, and created opportunities to unblock various blockages that had existed, especially with regards to implementation of previous undertakings and agreements.

Technical Teams from both countries will look into the implementation of the 1996 General Agreement, and the 1999 Declaration of Intent, which form the basis of relations and engagement between our two countries.

From the South African side, we are looking into the matter of concluding and signing outstanding bilateral agreements including the Promotion and Protection of Investments, as well as the Avoidance of
Double Taxation between our two countries.

His Excellency Vice President Mwape and I agreed to convene another session before the end of the year to take forward these discussions, and to monitor and assess progress made.

Compatriots, we are focusing on strengthening relations with Zambia because it is only natural for us to do so. The role played by Zambia in the attainment of the freedom and democracy we are now enjoying in our
country was phenomenal.

We shall always remember the sacrifices and selflessness of the people of this country, who suffered a lot for the liberation of many countries in Southern Africa.

The former President of Zambia, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, a true humanist and lover of freedom and democracy, sacrificed his country's stability and prosperity for the liberation of the peoples of neighbouring countries
such as South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

The economy of this country suffered due to severe destabilisation, as a result of Zambia's solidarity with liberation movements, especially the ANC. We therefore appreciate your presence here as the South African
business community, to play a positive and constructive role in the development and rebuilding of this country.

You should also be aware that your presence here contributes to the broader agenda of the regeneration of Africa.

As you know, South Africa has since 1994 been vigorously contributing to the programme for the renewal of the African continent economically, socially and politically.

The formation of the African Union added further impetus to this process, as the Constitutive Act has created organs and institutions designed to take forward the rebuilding of the continent. On the economic front, you would be aware of Africa's sustainable. development blueprint, the New Partnership for Africa's Development,
(NEPAD), which is in various phases of implementation. The success of NEPAD will be greatly enhanced if it receives active and practical support from the African business sector. While we encourage
investments from the developed world into Africa, we simultaneously encourage more intra-African trade and investments.

That is why we view it as important that you are actively participating in the existing structures which drive trade and investment relations between our two countries. We were informed that various other opportunities exist for South African businesses including in the areas of roads and infrastructure development and tourism such as the management of parks to mention a
few.

Ladies and gentlemen, we believe while we are in Zambia, we should also remember our history and heritage - the struggle for freedom which brought us our liberation and democracy. Zambia, and Lusaka in particular was the headquarters of the ANC and was a home away from home to many cadres of the movement.

Many South Africans fell in Zambia and are buried in Lusaka. We will later today honour their memories by visiting their graves, to remember where we come from, and to appreciate the fact that they paid the
ultimate price for freedom. They died so far away from home, in pursuit of the freedom and democracy we enjoy at home. Some outstanding freedom fighters who are buried here include former international affairs head Johnny Makatini and former ANC secretary general Duma Nokwe, as well as other senior leaders and national
executive committee members including John Motshabi, Cde Mampuru, Cassius Make, Ntante Nkula, and Florence Mophosho.

The presence of their remains and those of about 300 other compatriots in this land serves as a reminder of the ties that bind South Africa and Zambia.

They are also a reminder of what many still call a miracle - the smooth transition from apartheid tyranny to democracy in 1994, and the peace and reconciliation between all our people, united in their diversity.

Compatriots, we have come a long way as a nation since the advent of democracy in 1994. Let us work together to nurture and consolidate our democracy at home, while also playing our role in the reconstruction and
development of our continent, especially the SADC region where we are based.

Compatriots, you would have heard and seen in the media that Mr Shabir Shaik was convicted in Durban yesterday, as well as the comments reportedly made by the Judge in his verdict. I have not had the opportunity to study the judgment, and the court process is not over yet as Mr Shaik is yet to be sentenced.

I am therefore unable to make any detailed comment at this stage, suffice to emphasise that my conscience is clear because I know that I have not committed any crime, nor was I charged with any criminal offence.
I was therefore not in court to answer to any of the allegations made.

I felt I should share this with you given the opportunity for us to meet today. Let me reiterate that we appreciate your presence in Zambia, and know and trust that you are representing us well as our ambassadors.

I thank you.

 



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