PRETORIA — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has affirmed his commitment to supporting Zimbabwe in its efforts to revitalise its economy.
President Ramaphosa committed to support Zimbabwe in this endeavour by encouraging South African State-owned companies (SOCs) and the private sector to invest in the Zimbabwean economy, noting that Zimbabwe is one of South Africa’s top five trade partners, the Presidency said in a statement here over the weekend.
More than 120 South African companies are doing business across a broad range of sectors in Zimbabwe.
President Ramaphosa was visted Harare and Maputo over the weekend and met with Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe and Felipe Nyusi of Mozambique.
The visits formed part of a long-standing Southern African Development Community (SADC) tradition whereby newly-elected Heads of State pay courtesy calls on neighbouring countries. President Ramaphosa took office on Feb 15.
President Ramaphosa’s visit to Harare followed President Mnangagwa’s visit � his first abroad – to South Africa in December 2017, soon after his inauguration as President of Zimbabwe.
During their deliberations, the two Heads of State reviewed bilateral relations between the two countries. They acknowledged the historical and fraternal relations that exist between the two sister Republics, the statement said.
The Presidents re-affirmed the strategic importance of the Beitbridge Bridge border post. In this regard, they committed themselves to the establishment of a one-stop border post to facilitate the easy movement of people, goods and services, acknowledging that Beitbridge is the busiest border crossing in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Presidents further re-affirmed the need to prioritise economic co-operation for the mutual benefit of the respective countries and peoples, the Presidency said. They identified agro-processing, mining, tourism, energy and infrastructure development as sectors that are key in strengthening economic co-operation.
Presidents Ramaphosa and Mnangagwa further reviewed the political and security situation in SADC and the continent. In this regard, they noted that SADC is generally politically stable, with the exception of a few challenges in the region which are attended to by the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, said the Presidency.
The two Presidents agreed to consult regularly on issues of mutual concern.
Zimbabwe is due to hold elections towards the middle of 2018. President Ramaphosa wished President Mnangagwa and the people of Zimbabwe well as they prepare for mid-year elections.
In Maputo, Presidents Ramaphosa and Nyusi underscored the strength of the bilateral relations between South Africa and Mozambique.
The leaders emphasised the need for the two countries to deepen economic cooperation during the third session, in South Africa later this year, of the Binational Commission that oversees relations between the two states,” the statement said.
The Presidents identified agriculture, energy, investment in rail and road infrastructure, tourism and the movement of people between the two countries as areas for engagement during the forthcoming Binational Commission, the Presidency said.
President Ramaphosa was accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Lindiwe Sisulu, and the Minister of State Security, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba as he paid a courtesy call to the two heads of State.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK