by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
PRETORIA – SOUTH Africa is determined to expand its long-standing relations with neighbouring Zimbabwe, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has said.
n The South African minister spoke in the capital Pretoria on Monday at the second session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between the two countries.
Her Zimbabwean colleague, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, led a delegation from his country.
“As you (delegation) are aware, the people of South Africa consider Zimbabwe a great friend and neighbour,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.
She said the BNC provides the opportunity to renew and strengthen the historic bonds between the two countries, solidified during the liberation struggle.
“Today the struggle we wage is not for liberation but against the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.”
Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa was determined to continue expanding efforts towards ensuring socio-economic development, joint prosperity and the mutual benefit of its people and in that regard.
“Our partnership can contribute towards this noble goal, if we work together with single-mindedness,” she said.
The minister was looking forward to continue working with Zimbabwe to
fast-track regional integration and the implementation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Industrialisation Strategy, adopted in Harare in 2015.
The BNC agreement was reached 2015, during the state visit by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to South Africa.
Mugabe and South African counterpart Jacob Zuma are scheduled to attend the BNC this week.
The meeting comes weeks after controversy overshadowed Mugabe’s visit to South Africa.
His wife, Grace Mugabe, stands accused of assaulting a South African young woman in August.
She was granted diplomatic immunity from prosecution.
It was unclear if she would be among Mugabe’s delegation this week.
South Africa, Zimbabwe set to solidify ties
by SAVIOUS KWINIKA