Hon. Bertha Mackenzie Ndebele has been elected has the new Chair of the SADC Standing Committee for Human and Social Development and Special Programmes.
The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) was established in 1997 in accordance with Article 9 (2) of the SADC Treaty as an autonomous institution of SADC It is a regional inter-parliamentary body composed of Fourteen (14) parliaments representing over 3500 parliamentarians in the SADC region. These member parliaments are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Forum seeks to bring regional experiences to bear at the national level, to promote best practices in the role of parliaments in regional cooperation and integration as outlined in the SADC Treaty and the Forum Constitution. Its main aim is to provide a platform for parliaments and parliamentarians to promote and improve regional integration in the SADC region, through parliamentary involvement.
The objectives of the Forum address a wide range of issues, including but not limited to:
(i) Promotion of human rights, gender equality, good governance, democracy and transparency;
(ii) Promotion of peace, security and stability;
(iii) Hastening the pace of economic cooperation, development and integration on the basis of equity and mutual benefits;
(iv) Facilitating networking with other inter-parliamentary organizations;
(v) Promoting the participation of non-governmental organisations, business and intellectual communities in SADC activities;
(vii) Familiarising the peoples of SADC with the aims and objectives of SADC; and
(viii) Informing SADC of the popular views on development and issues affecting the region.
The Sectoral and Cluster Ministerial Committees consist of ministers from each Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member State. These committees are directly responsible for overseeing the activities of the core areas of integration, monitoring and controlling the implementation of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan in their area of competence, as well as providing policy advice to the Council.
Currently the Cluster Committees are as follows:
- Ministers responsible for Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment;
- Ministers responsible for Infrastructure and Services;
- Ministers responsible for Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment;
- Ministers responsible for Social and Human Development and Special Programmes (HIV and AIDS; education, labour; employment and gender);
- Ministers responsible for Politics, Defence and Security; and
- Ministers responsible for Legal Affairs and Judicial matters.