Mugabe's S Africa visit expected to strengthen relations

29th September 2017 By: Sane Dhlamini - Creamer Media Researcher and Writer

Mugabe's S Africa visit expected to strengthen relations

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
Photo by: Bloomberg

 Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is expected to arrive in South Africa on Tuesday, to attend the second session of the South Africa-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC), scheduled to take place in Pretoria.

The Presidency said in a statement that the BNC session, which is expected to strengthen and deepen bilateral relations between the two countries, will be co-chaired by President Jacob Zuma and Mugabe.

“The session will afford an opportunity to both Heads of State to review the State of the bilateral relationship between the two neighbouring countries,” the statement said.

Zuma and Mugabe are also expected to deliberate and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual concern, particularly peace, security, stability and development in the fifteen country Southern African Development Community region and other parts of the continent.

According to the Presidency statement, Zimbabwe is one of South Africa’s top five trading partners on the continent, with trade statistics showing yearly growth. In 2016, South Africa’s exports to Zimbabwe amounted to approximately R29.3-billion.

To date, both countries have signed more than 40 memoranda of understanding (MoU) and agreements. The agreements and MoUs cover trade and investment, immigration, defence, transport, agriculture, the environment, energy, health, labour, water management, taxation, as well as arts and culture.

The delegation accompanying President Zuma is expected to include the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nkqakula, Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies, Labour Mildred Oliphant, Home Affairs Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize and Transport Joseph Maswanganyi.