President Ramaphosa in Zimbabwe for the Bi-National Commission

President Emmerson Mnangagwa (left) welcomes his South African counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa, at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare last night. - PHOTO: Tawanda Mudimu

Johannesburg, South Africa (ADV) – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is in Zimbabwe ahead of the third session of the Zimbabwe-South Africa Bi-National Commission Summit in Harare, the Herald reported.

He arrived in the country last night.

The Bi-National Commission (BNC) will be co-chaired by Presidents Mnangagwa and Ramaphosa. Zimbabwe and South have signed 45 agreements in previous bilateral engagements cutting across economic, political and social sectors.

Ministers from the two countries met earlier yesterday to lay the groundwork for the third BNC between the two countries amid calls for the setting up of timeframes on the implementation, complementation and operationalisation of agreed projects.

Officially opening the ministers’ meeting yesterday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo called on officials from both countries to redouble their efforts to ensure agreed projects bear fruit.

“It will blemish our successes if we cannot show progress to our Heads of State and people, year in year out,” said Major General (Rtd), Dr Moyo.

“I am happy to hear that also the Minister of Transport is ready to confirm in writing the commitment of the South African government to the effect that Transnet is forthright and mandated to undertake this project.”

On the Beitbridge OSBP, Minister Moyo said modern infrastructure – as espoused in Zimbabwe’s Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) – was a prerequisite for efficient movement goods and services.

“Refurbishment of this important border post is a key priority project for expanding the north-south corridor,” he said.

South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said both countries were going through “trying times’’ economically hence the need to cement their relations.

“South Africa is more determined to continue to expand efforts towards ensuring socio-economic development, prosperity and mutual benefits to our two countries,” she said.

“In this regard South Africa would like to take this opportunity to build a solid foundation and a dependable cooperative partnership with Zimbabwe that will take us forward. This BNC is likely to bear fruits than any other time precisely because of the challenges facing us.”

“Our decisiveness to move forward is not premised solely on the long list of MOUs and agreements but on the implementation. That is why we want to make sure we have accountability of all the agreements we have signed,’’ she said.

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