Source: Zuma coming to Zimbabwe – Sunday News Oct 23, 2016
SOUTH Africa’s President Jacob Zuma will visit Zimbabwe next week to follow up on trade and economic agreements signed between the two countries in 2015.
President Mugabe was in South Africa last year on his first State visit there since August 1994, and he and President Zuma signed five agreements covering trade co-operation; security; water management; customs; and collaboration in regional, continental and global matters.
The two countries also proposed establishment of a one-stop border post.
A senior official at South Africa’s Harare embassy, Mr Linda Maso, told our Harare Bureau that, “President Zuma is expected to arrive in Zimbabwe on November 2, while ministers will be expected to get here earlier to do preparatory work.
“More agreements on ICT and energy are going to be signed. Our desire is to have a relationship that benefits the two countries, and this is being strengthened by engagements at the highest level by the leaders of the two countries.
“Our two countries share strong historical relations and strong economic co-operation to the extent that their economies are historically and inseparably connected.
“Presidents Mugabe and Zuma have shown commitment to ensuring mutually-beneficial relations. South Africa is, indeed, committed to working with Zimbabwe to help develop its economy.”
President Zuma will be accompanied by several ministers, with the Zimbabwe-South Africa Business Forum preceding his discussions with President Mugabe.
The forum brings together business representatives from both countries, and will explore opportunities in mining, water, energy, transport, infrastructure development and ICT.
In February 2016, President Zuma told our Harare Bureau, “South Africa and Zimbabwe enjoy warm and cordial relations, based on mutual respect and co-operation for the benefit of our two countries. These bilateral relations were formalised in 1994 when South Africa achieved her independence.
“Structured co-operation took place through the Joint Commission for Co-operation which was established in 1995, and the Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security established in 2005.
“We have over 35 memoranda of understanding and agreements that have been signed between the two countries, and a Bi-National Commission Agreement, signed during President Mugabe’s State visit to South Africa in April 2015, has elevated the relations to a Heads of State level.
“Zimbabwe is among South Africa’s top trading partners on the continent and during 2015, South Africa’s exports to Zimbabwe amounted to R25,6 billion while imports were recorded to be R4,3 billion.”