Your Excellency, President John Pombe Magufuli,
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Let me take this opportunity to thank you, Your Excellency President Magufuli, for your warm brotherly words of welcome to your beautiful country.
It is always an honour for us to visit Tanzania, because Tanzania occupies a special place in our hearts.
Tanzania was at the forefront in supporting our national liberation movement in the fight against the racial oppression of apartheid.
As we celebrate 25 years of democracy this year, we do so conscious of the fact that it would not have been possible without the solidarity and assistance from countries such as Tanzania.
We owe our democracy to Nelson Mandela as much as we owe it to Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, whose timeless teachings continue to guide us as we strive for a better Africa and a more humane world.
We enjoy fraternal bilateral relations anchored not only on our shared history of struggle but also on our common vision for the future to build thriving developmental states in a stable and prosperous continent.
We recall the words of our late President Nelson Mandela when he visited Tanzania in 1995, when he said:
Our visit to Tanzania, Mr President, is a reunion of comrades in struggle; a trailblazer between two like-minded governments to deepen political and economic relations for the benefit of both our nations.
I would like to reaffirm President Mandela’s statement that we must continue working together to enhance and strengthen our already excellent bilateral relations.
We should do so by expanding trade and investment with the goal of achieving decent livelihoods for our people.
Through our Bi-National Commission of Cooperation since 2017, we have elevated our engagements to Presidential level, thus displaying the resolve of both our countries to address our developmental aspirations.
This bilateral mechanism has allowed our cooperation to grow significantly and will be utilised as a tool to continue expanding the scope of cooperation.
We currently enjoy multi-faceted cooperation in many fields and there is rapid growth in people-to-people relations.
Our economic cooperation continues to be strong.
Considering the number of agreements and memoranda of understanding that have been signed and those that are yet to be finalised, it is clear that our economic cooperation is set for further growth.
Tanzania is among the top trading partners of South Africa in the region and significantly one of the fastest growing economies on the Continent.
Our countries share strong bonds of cultural identity and heritage.
It is fitting therefore that Tanzania was selected as the centre for the African Liberation route, which seeks to acknowledge the great struggles of our peoples for self-determination, democracy and freedom.
We are encouraged by the people-to-people relations between South Africans and Tanzanians, and in particular the educational tours to Morogoro by South African youth under the auspices of the SOMAFCO Trust.
These tours provide our youth with an opportunity to explore our liberation heritage with visits to the camps that were occupied by South Africans in exile.
These tours provide our youth with an opportunity to learn about the culture of the Tanzanian people, their heritage and traditions with a hope of fostering a better understanding and appreciation of expatriates in South Africa.
Our countries are blessed with natural resources and human capital.
We therefore have a responsibility to take full advantage of these for the benefit of our people, especially women and youth.
Let us create conditions for our private sectors to explore new business opportunities.
This afternoon we officiated at a Business Forum that is aimed at forging collaboration to ensure market access into our respective economies.
Our support for the private sector at this level is necessary to ensure the protection of investments and ease of doing business in our respective countries.
Closely linked to the promotion of investment is the achievement of political stability in our region.
We are pleased to note that the year 2019 has been characterised by strong signs of democratic consolidation in SADC, especially through the recent elections in the DRC, Madagascar, South Africa and Malawi.
These elections are a testament to our collective support for democratic norms and practices in accordance with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.
As we will be commencing with our deliberations at the SADC Summit this weekend, we would like to congratulate you as the incoming chair of SADC.
We are certain that with you as the Chair of our regional organisation, our region will continue to prosper under your esteemed and capable leadership.
Furthermore, our region will continue on its trajectory of peace, security and economic development.
The agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area presents an ideal opportunity for the industrialisation of the African Continent.
The agreement will make trade between our countries much easier and allow free and easy movement of our people.
South Africa will be taking over as Chair of the African Union next year.
We aim to continue with AU programmes, particularly the acceleration and the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.
As we also take over as Chair of the United Nations Security Council in October this year, we will continue to foster cooperation and collaboration between the Security Council and AU Peace and Security Council.
Let me conclude by reminding all of us here that the United Nations has declared 2019 to 2029 as the Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace.
We must therefore work meaningfully to promote and encourage a culture of peace throughout the world and silence the guns on our continent.
Your Excellency, Mr President
May we please rise, raise our glasses and toast to President Magufuli and to the eternal friendship between the people of Tanzania and South Africa.
I thank you.
Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa