Address by President Nelson Mandela to the National Executive Committee of the Chama Cha Mapundizi (CCM), Tanzania

17 November 1998

Your Excellency, President Mkapa;
President Amour
M Vice President
Mr Prime Minister,
Secretary General of the CCM
Distinguished Guests;

It is a great honour and a privilege to have the opportunity to address the National Executive Committee of CCM today. Though this is my second visit in three years, and my second experience of your hospitality towards the president of a free South Africa, i feel yet again overwhelmed by you warmth.

It has special meaning for me personally, as my public life draws to a close, to be given this opportunity to be amongst the leaders of a people who did so much for the freedom of South Africa, a people who has given Africa one of her great patriots, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, a people who inspired us with the example of selfless solidarity which they set.

The support of the people and government of Tanzania, under the leadership of the Chama Cha Mapundizi, was an indispensable contribution to our victory over the apartheid system.

This visit allows us yet again to do what we cannot do too often, to express the profound gratitude that the South African people feel towards you for sharing the trenches of struggle with us.

We say this even though we know that thanks may be out of place between those who share the experience of fighting to free themselves from systems that made us second class citizens in the countries of our birth. We are bound by a common resolve that Africans should be masters of their own destinies.

We have rid ourselves of the shackles of colonialism and apartheid, but the struggle for full recognition of our sovereignty as free nations, and for an equitable place in the world economic system continues. These things are critical if we are to achieve sustained improvement in the lives of our peoples. And such improvement is necessary if we are to give real content to the rights we have won and if our democracies are to remain stable.

None of us can surmount these challenges on our own, such is the interdependence of the modern world. Nor can we secure any of our goals in isolation from the others.

As we stood together in the struggle for liberation, we must now join hands for peace, development and democratic governance.

We must continue to build SADC, as we have been doing, into the engine for development that will make our region competitive in the new world economic order.

We must continue to work together to promote stability in our region and beyond.

I would like to use this opportunity to commend Tanzania for her tireless efforts in the peace process in Burundi. Equally noteworthy are the successes of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha.

Such contributions give us grounds for hope that Tanzania will play a significant role in promoting a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in a way that helps the people of that country embark upon the path to lasting peace.

Unless we, as African leaders, find the way to a peaceful resolution of these and other conflicts, the rebirth of our continent, made possible by liberation, will be endangered. Peace, stability and democracy are essential conditions for development.

In this regard, it is with pride that we can report to you who helped us achieve our democratic rights and to bring peace to our country, that we are indeed making sure but steady progress in creating a better life for all, especially the poor.

If we are to maintain the progress we have made, and speed up our programmes for socio-economic improvements, then sustained growth is imperative. Our growing bilateral economic ties with Tanzania contribute to that goal.

It is therefore deeply encouraging that trade between South Africa and Tanzania is growing, to the extent that it has almost trebled in the past three years. No less important is the fact that South Africa is increasing its imports from Tanzania, in line with our commitment to address trade imbalances between herself and her SADC counterparts.

South African investment in Tanzania is also steadily increasing, with an ever-growing number of South African companies operating in this country. If the numerous business delegations visiting Tanzania in search of opportunities is anything to go by then this expansion is set to continue.

The South African government encourages such investment into Tanzania, so long as it is done in a way which brings lasting expansion in the productive capacity of your economy, through the transfer of technology and skills and the creation of more job opportunities.

In such ways, amongst others, the bonds that were forged in struggle are being turned into the mutually beneficial relations of a partnership for peace and prosperity.

Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am deeply grateful that you have given me this opportunity to take leave of you as leaders of a people who made our aspirations their own.

But though its is a personal farewell and in some sense an ending, it is also only the beginning of a new and more challenging era in the close relationship between our peoples.

I thank you.

Issued by: Office of the President

Source: South African Government Information Website