South African Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa is visiting Zambia to strengthen cultural relations with that country’s Tourism and Arts Minister, Charles Banda.

Mthethwa hopes to conclude discussions on bilateral cultural relations between the two countries during his visit on Monday and Tuesday, the Department of Arts and Culture said in a statement here Tuesday.

The visit is also intended to strengthen collaboration on the Africa Month programme of activities that takes place in May to commemorate the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the precursor to the African Union (AU).

Relations between South Africa and Zambia were set during the liberation struggle when Zambia supported freedom fighters from South Africa. Formal relations were established in 1992 at the level of Representative Offices and later upgraded to full diplomatic missions in 1994.

“Relations between the two countries were further enhanced during reciprocal State visits in 2009 by President Jacob Zuma to Zambia, and in 2010 by former President Rupiah Banda to South Africa,” the department said.

Mthethwa’s visit will also strengthen co-operation on liberation heritage as part of work on the Liberation Heritage Route. The route identifies and recognizes sites of historical significance in bringing freedom to South Africa.

“As South Africa marks the centenary of the birth of the great revolutionary leader, ANC President Oliver Reginald Tambo, the OR Tambo Centenary programme will also come under discussion. Minister Mthethwa will visit Oliver Tambo House in Chelstone and other landmarks of the liberation movement in exile,” the department said.

Mthethwa was also scheduled to call on former Zambian President and Pan-Africanist, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, and visit Chilenje House 394, the place from which former President Kaunda directed the struggle for Zambia’s independence.