Speech by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Candith Mashego-Dlamini, during the occasion of the Official Hand-Over of Humanitarian Assistance from the Republic of South Africa to the Republic of South Sudan, in Juba on the 8th August 2019
Honourable Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs;
Honourable Minister of Gender of the Jubek State
Chairperson of the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission;
Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners
Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Ladies and gentleman.
Let me take this opportunity to convey warm and fratenal greetings of the People and Government of South Africa to You, our fellow African Brothers and Sisters in South Sudan.
It is an honour to be here representing our government to officially hand-over the Humanitarian Assistance package to the Government and people of South Sudan.
South Africa attaches great importance to the close and cordial relations of friendship and mutually beneficial co-operation between our governments and peoples. Ours are tried and tested relations that hold great opportunities for the future of both our countries. Bilateral engagements between South Africa and South Sudan will continue to intensify.
Africa is the centerpiece of South Africa’s foreign policy. Accordignly, in the pursuance of the African agenda and providing African solutions to African problems, we make it our mission to mobilise a significant amount of our resources towards the socio-economic awakening of our continent, peace-making and peace-building, as well as post-conflict reconstruction and development.
We do this informed by the philosophy that lies at the heart of our foreign relations: Ubuntu. Ubuntu is the idea that we affirm our own humanity by affirming the humanity of others. I am because you are. What we want for ourselves as a country and as a people, we wish for our fellow brothers and sisters on our beautiful continent.
Therefore, our struggle for a better life for all in South Africa is closely intertwined with our struggle for a better South Sudan, a better Africa and a better world all. These values are ingrained in the South African Constitution and inform our foreign policy as captured in our vision which is: (I quote) "an African Continent which is prosperous, peaceful, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and united and which contributes to a world that is just and equitable" (close quote.
Programme Director, this is why we are here today. In the recent past, famine and drought have added to the challenges faced by this nation whilst it was still dealing with the process of post-conflict reconstruction and development, at the same time consolidating the peace process. We are here not only to pledge solidarity but to tangibly demonstrate our support through humanitarian assistance.
This assistance packadge is valued at over One Hundred Million South African Rand (R100 000 000 ). What we give to each recipient is a full meal packadge that comprises of sweet sorghum, red beans, salt and cooking oil. In our culture as Africans, giving in based on the principle of sharing and nothing else. This is our way of sharing with our fellow brothers and sisters of South Sudan.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
South Africa is a product of our people ‘struggle for liberation and international solidarity. This history informs how South Africa views itself in the Continent in that “it recognises itself as an integral part of the African Continent and therefore understands its national interests as being intrinsically linked to Africa’s stability, unity and prosperity”.
Our hope is that this assistance packadge will contribute to the alleviation of social-economic challenges facing vulnerable communities, including refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, comprising mainly of women and children.
Before I conclude, let me also take the liberty to on behalf of the People and Government of South Africa send well-wishes to the People of South Sudan as you approach 12 November 2019. We are confident that as South Sudanese you will find lasting solutions to the challenges before you. Peace and development are two sides of the same coin. Without peace you can’t have development.
We know that the people of South Sudan share our view that meaningful and inclusive dialogue is the most effective way to resolve political challenges and bring about lasting and durable solutions. As you navigate this journey, you can count on South Africa’s unwavering support and friendship.
I thank you all for your attention!