National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise has reiterated South Africa’s stand to support the lifting of the targeted economic sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Modise made the call during the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) 46th Plenary Assembly Session held in Swakopmund, Namibia.
This follows a motion tabled by the National Council of Provinces Chairperson Amos Masondo during the 3rd Ordinary Session of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), held in Midrand in October. He urged PAP members to demand the immediate lifting of the economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
During the session on Sunday, Member of Parliament from Angola, Josefina Perpétua Pitra Diakite, tabled a motion calling for the lifting of the economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
Diakite said Angola was deeply concerned that these “economic sanctions had affected people’s livelihoods negatively, economic development and access to health, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable population, including young girls, women, children, the disabled and the elderly people”.
“The economic sanctions are a violation of the human, economic and social rights of the people of Zimbabwe and have a negative impact on the government’s efforts to leverage the economy and boost the living standards of the Zimbabwean people,” said Diakite.
She added that they were concerned that these “sanctions have had an adverse effect on the SADC region’s growth and sustainable development objectives, and will slow down the economic and regional integration efforts as they undermine commercial, economic and financial relations between the Member States.”
In supporting Diakite’s motion, on Monday, Modise warned that without South Africa standing up and joining up with other neighbours, the economic progress of the region will be retarded.
She said the issues of child mortality and hunger will continue to besiege the region.
“We stand as South Africa to say to our brothers, our sisters, our neighbours… that your pain is our pain,” Modise said.
Free movement of people
Meanwhile, the 46th Plenary Assembly also adopted a motion by Sally Saleh Alley from Tanzania, calling for the free movement of people and goods across the SADC region in preparation for the successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
A motion by South Africa’s delegate Tshitereke Matibe was also adopted for the development of cross-border agricultural value chains in SADC as a catalyst for the successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.