Hon Deputy Speaker, members of the House, on the occasion of this debate this afternoon under the theme; advancing the African Union under agenda 2063 within the context of the twin pillars of economic development and security, I premise the debate on the iconic speech by Pan- Africanist, Kwame Nkrumah, at the inaugural ceremony of Organization of African Unity, OAU, conference held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 24 May 1963, Nkrumah made a clarion call that as Africans, and I quote: "we must unite now or perish".
He understood that the economic development of Africa will only come from a united Africa. Agenda 2063 is the Africa blueprint and a master plan for transforming Africa into a global power house of the future. It is the continent's strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable economic development, pursuit under the Pan- Africanism and African renaissance. It has strategic objective to galvanise in action all Africans in the diaspora around the common vision of a peaceful, integrated and prosperous Africa. It further promotes the values of solidarity, self belief, nonsexism, self reliance and celebration of our cultural diversity.
The struggle of liberation in South Africa was achieved through, amongst others, the unity of the African states. Even the very formation of the African National Congress was to unite the people of Africa. While in exile in 1980, our visionary leader, President O R Tambo said and I quote:
A long-cherished dream of the ANC came true with the formation of the OAU in 1963. The continent has torn
asunder almost every chain of colonial bondage and joined the world community of nations as a full and equal member, contributing, with great effort, to the solution of international problems. Southern Africa is undergoing a geopolitical transformation and social upheaval. In the course of this colonial foundation some late decades ago had been reduced to a cheap of race.
This debate today takes place against the backdrop of our country hosting the second African Investment Conference in Sandton, Johannesburg. In his opening address, the President of the Republic, Matamela Ramaphosa, announced that the 31 projects committed last year during the inaugural investment conference, eight of the projects which he announced have been realised and completed, with 17 in construction are at the implementation phase. In total this represent the R238 billion of the investments that were announced last year. It therefore becomes critical that we also see this positive development as an advance in the African Union agenda 2063 within the context of the twin pillars of the economic development and security.
Hon Deputy Speaker, Kwame Nkrumah recognised that the sovereignty of the African states and said that, without necessarily sacrificing them, we need to forge a political unity based on amongst other things defence, foreign affairs and diplomacy. The African Unity, AU, agenda 2063, identify free movements of person as a key ingredient for achieving other development aspiration. Free movement of person in Africa is expected to deliver several key benefits including; boosting intra-Africa trade, commerce and tourism, facilitating labour mobility and skills transfer, promoting Pan-African identity and social integration, promoting the rule of law, human rights and public health.
The protocol to the treaty establishing the African economic community - to which South Africa is a signatory - relates to the free movement of people which envisage three specific rights; the right of entry, the right of establishment and the right of residence. These rights entails that nationals of AU member states shall have the rights to enter, stay, move freely and exit the territory of another member state in accordance with the rules, regulations and procedure of the host member state.
Hon Deputy Speaker, the adoption of these and other instruments reflect our commitment to agenda 2063. Integrating our collective vision as a country within the key pillars of agenda 2063 is the National Development Plan 2030. We do so out of our commitment of our future and to make a future work for the generation to come. By 2030, we in the ANC and the masses of our country we want to live in a country that we remade and an Africa that we have significantly contributed to its rise. Deputy Speaker, working towards achieving the goal set out in agenda 2063, 18 of the countries are enjoying a visa-free status are on the African Continent within Sadc.
Again as a country, we have waived visa requirements for
82 of the 193 countries who are members of the United Nations. In this month of November, the ANC-led government will be implementing the e-visa system which place technology at the centre of the Department of Home Affairs operation by making it easier and secure to enter South Africa. The e-visa regime will booster tourism, economic growth, combats visa fraud and open South Africa as a desirable destination. This move is indeed commendable.
Deputy Speaker, it is worth noting as directed by His Excellency, President Ramaphosa, that the Department of Home Affairs is moving forward with one- stop border post project which is to be implemented in the six priority land cross between South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana. This move support the National Development Plan which advocates for a more open approach to immigration in order to expand a supply of high skills in a manner that contribute to economic development. It will also ease cross-border movements, enabling African citizens and provide legal permitting route for Sadc economic migrants. President Ramaphosa committed to make sure that the establishment of the one- stop border post in Beit Bridge located in Musina in Limpopo, is completed as soon as possible so as to improve the trade facilitation between South Africa and Zimbabwe as well as enhance the North-South corridor.
Deputy Speaker, there can be no economic development where there is no security. The ANC government has an obligation to ensure that all the people in the country are free and feel safe as outlined in the National Development Plan, NDP, outcome number 3. The twin pillars
of economic development and security therefore need to be balanced. This balance was seen in the Department of Home Affairs, smooth to relax the requirement that unabridged birth certificates need to be produced by those travelling with minor children into the country. The rationale for this rule was to stop child trafficking. According to the salvation army of estimation 2 million persons are trafficked each year and Africa account to 450 000.
In a country where the statistics of gender-based violence, human trafficking, femicide and sexual violence is at their peak, the borders of South Africa cannot be left in a porous state. All people especially women, children and persons with disability must feel safe. As the ANC government, we will work hard that the Border Management Authority Bill is passed and implemented as reaffirmed by the ANC 54th National Conference. One of the key pillars of the Border Management Authority Bill is to balance the facilitation of legitimate trade and travel function whilst simultaneously addressing security risk.
Chairperson, I must take this opportunity also to congratulate Lesotho for being the first in the continent to introduce a co-ordinated border management system which was launched yesterday. As we pursue the strategic objective of the national democratic revolution, our vision is to create a better South Africa in a better Africa and just a world.
In conclusion, Chairperson, I end up by quoting Thomas Sankara and I quote: "We are not against progress but we do not want progress that is anarchic and criminally neglect the rights of others" I thank you. [Applause.]