Address by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, the Honourable Ms Sue van der Merwe on the Occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Tanzania, Pretoria Country Club, 26 April 2005

Your Excellency, The High Commissioner of the Republic of Tanzania,
Balozi (means High Commissioner or Ambassador) Mwambulukutu
Distinguished Diplomats,

Habari zajioni mabibi nama bwana (Ladies and gentlemen, good evening)
It is my privilege and honour to be present here this evening to congratulate Tanzania and its people on the occasion of the celebration of its 41st Anniversary since independence. One behalf of the South African Government and its people, I would like to convey our best wishes on your national day celebrations.

The historical ties that bind us date back during our struggle to attain majority rule. After Tanzania became liberated from the yoke of British colonialism in 1961, your country and people did not focus on their narrow self-interests and forget about other countries still under minority rule such a South Africa. Instead, Tanzania became the home of many of the liberation movements that were still seeking self-determination on the African continent. Tanzania also served as host to the OAU Liberation Committee which harnessed the collective effort of a number of African countries to support the various liberation movements of the time, including our own.

We would like to acknowledge these contributions and pay special homage to the sacrifices of Tanzanians from all walks of life who ensured the liberation of our own country. Speaking at the welcoming dinner in honour of Prime Minister Sumaye in October 2004, Deputy President Zuma made the point that:

We cannot forget the solidarity, which was displayed by the Tanzanian people for the cause of our struggle for liberation. Fond memories of Morogoro, which was once and for a long time the Headquarters of the ANC, Mazimbu where the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College was situated, Kongwa and Dakawa, wherein our cadres underwent intense training in readiness to liberate this country, are still with us and will remain with us forever. Ours is a relationship forged through struggle, and will therefore definitely stand the test of time.

On 9 July 1992, when the late ANC President Oliver Tambo handed over ANC settlements in Mazimbu and Dakawa to then Tanzania President Hassan Ali Mwinyi, he expressed the hope that they would remain as symbols of friendship and solidarity between our peoples.
Thus, from a very early period in the history of our countries we shared a strong commitment for the liberation of our continent as well as the creation of a better Africa and a better world. Indeed, our relations go beyond mere symbolism and elegant words but continues to be driven by concrete actions. Today, Tanzania continues in its efforts to bring about the realisation of the rebirth of our continent by working in partnership with sister countries in general and with South Africa in particular in the Burundi Peace Process.

On the bilateral front our relations have found concrete expression through the signing by Presidents Mbeki and Mkapa, of a Memorandum of Understanding on Trade and Industry programme focusing on areas of project development, research and technology, trade facilitation, development of physical and economic infrastructure and spatial development.

Tanzania's market offer viable business opportunities for the South African investors and exporters as means of facilitating increased job creation and skills and technological transfer in both countries. More than 150 South Africa companies are economically active in Tanzania, and this is rated as premier investment destination in Africa for South African business people. The two-way people-to-people collaboration between our countries is also on the increase and should be encouraged.

Your Excellency,

As you know, our countries share similar constitutional developments, challenges, historical ties and views on multilateral issues. We should therefore continue to utilise the large reservoir of goodwill, which exists for the benefit of both our countries and that of the continent.

The rebirth of the continent as well as the prominence of the African voice on global governance issues will largely depend on the commitment that each of us make individually as countries in the transformation of our societies by responding to their needs and wants in true democratic fashion. It will also depend on the active role we play within multilateral contexts to bring about the transformation of global governance structures such as the United Nations as well as the Bretton Woods Institutions to ensure a just and equal world.

We pay tribute our African Tanzanian sisters and brothers who continue to play a role towards the creation of a better world for future generations. We therefore remain committed to build on the victories we have made thus far to bring about the rebirth of Africa and making the twenty first century truly an African one. We call on your support to fulfil our mission of Consolidating the African Agenda through home-grown solutions and using the African Union and its organs as a unifying vehicle. Just like its predecessor, the OAU and its Liberation Committee, we see the AU and its development programme, the NEPAD as realistic measures to ensure that Africa enjoys its rightful place as an equal player amongst the community of nations.

You will agree with me that in today's globalising world, as developing countries we face the constant threat of marginalisation. We therefore need to use our institutional structures such as SADC to create a strong regional economic community that will ensure economic well-being, improvement of the standards of living and quality of life, freedom and social justice and peace and security for the peoples of Southern Africa. This shared vision is anchored on the common values and principles and the historical and cultural affinities that exist between the peoples of Southern Africa.

We are very proud that our country was elected to host the Pan-African Parliament. It brings a particular African prestige to our region and our country and we are of course delighted that the President of that parliament is both a Tanzanian and a woman!

Let me take this opportunity to also wish you well in the preparations for your general elections to be held later on this year. I believe that this will contribute to the growing trend towards democratisation and the consolidation of people-based and focused institutions of service delivery.

On behalf of the South African people, I wish you a happy Anniversary.
Asanteni sana. (Thank you very much)
I thank you.

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