Dlamini-Zuma honoured with parade and dinner send-off

2012-08-14 00:00

eTHEKWINI Municipality yesterday hosted a parade to bid farewell to Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who assumes her office as the new chairperson of the African Union (AU) in October. The parade, which started at the King Dinizulu Park and ended at the Durban City Hall, attracted hundreds of community members, mainly ANC and ANC Women’s League members.

Dlamini-Zuma said the issues of women mortality in Africa while giving birth was of great concern to her. She said the challenge within the organisation [AU] would be to make it more financially sustainable.

“The organisation needs to be able to raise funds within it, while the donor money is welcomed; we need to be more sustainable.”

Dlamini-Zuma thanked all those who had contributed to for what she has achieved.

She said she will also push for more integration within the continent. “We have everything that we need in the continent. While trading with other countries is important, we must improve the trade within ourselves.”

She cited the economic growth and the population as advantages. “In South Africa there are a 50 plus million people, but in Africa there are a billion people. We have much more strength in numbers as a billion people.”

She said Africa had other advantages in economic development. “In all the economies in the world, the African economy has been the only one that has been growing, and also we have a young population.”

Speakers at the parade said Dlamini-Zuma would make her mark as the chairperson of the AU. MEC for health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said in all the government positions Dlamini has held, she had excelled. “She has arrived at various departments and moved things.”

Dlamini-Zuma is the first ever female AU chairperson and the first from the SADC region. She was elected to the position in July this year.

She is credited for stabilising the floundering department of Home Affairs, giving prominence to the department of international relations and pushing for the anti-tobacco bill while she was the Health Minister.

• thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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