National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete is leading a multi-party delegation of eight Members of Parliament (MPs) on an official parliamentary visit to the Republic of Cuba.

The official Parliament-to-Parliament visit follows an invitation from Mbete’s Cuban counterpart, President of the National Assembly of People’s Power Esteban Lazo Hernández.

The eight MPs include National Assembly House Chairperson Mmatlala Boroto, ANC MP Jackson Mthembu, ANC Deputy Chief Whip Dorries Dlakude, DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen, EFF Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu, IFP Chief Whip Narend Singh, Gauteng ANC spokesperson Tasneem Motara and ANC whip in the public service committee Regina Lesoma.

The visit is in keeping with the fifth Parliament’s strategic objective to strengthen relations with Parliaments across the world, to enrich scrutiny and oversight of Executive action.

The bonds of solidarity forged in struggle between the two countries have continued to strengthen since democracy.

Most notably, co-operation between Cuba and South Africa has contributed to improving our health care system.

Cuba played a key role in our struggle to end apartheid – for example during the battle of Cuito Cuanavale (1987/1988).

In July 1991, after his release from prison, former President Nelson Mandela visited Cuba and met Fidel Castro for the first time.