Leaders of nine black Southern African states are meeting in the Mazambican capital on July 11 to review their common struggle against formidable economic and political odds.
GV PAN Maputo skyline
CU PULL BACK TO GV Portrait of President Samora Machel on wall in City Hall
CU PULL BACK TO GV Flags of participating countries
GVs Party slogans on banners on street walls (3 shots)
GV People milling around in street
GV/CU Women queueing for food in shops (4 shots)
GV People holding ration coupons queueing outside shop
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Background: Leaders of nine black Southern African states are meeting in the Mazambican capital on July 11 to review their common struggle against formidable economic and political odds. The fourth annual summit of the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), formed mainly to help members reduce their economic dependence on South Africa, is being held at Maputo's City Hall. Guests of President Samora Machel include the presidents of Angola, Botswana, Tanzania and Zambia. Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Lesotho are represented by their respective prime ministers and Malawi by its ambassador in Maputo. The nine countries face similar problems arising from the world economic recession, severe drought, and, they say, de-stabilisation, by white-ruled South Africa. Mozambique's economy has been particularly affected by a second year of drought. The seriousness of the situation has led the government to expel all unemployed people from the capital. People carrying a work card -- given to all workers by the authorities -- are alone entitled to ration coupons, without which they cannot join the endless queues for basic foodstuffs outside Maputo's depleted stores. Like other SADCC members, Mozambique claims Pretoria is restoring to military intervention in a bid to stop black South African moves towards economic autonomy. Mozambique is the key to SADCC efforts to set up alternatives to the ports and railways of South Africa. But its harbours and transport routes are being disrupted by rebels, said to be financed and trained by Pretoria.