SA and Botswana take stock at fifth bi-national commission
International relations and co-operation minister Naledi Pandor and her counterpart from Botswana, Lemogang Kwape, used the first day of the ministerial segment of the fifth SA-Botswana bi-national commission (BNC) to discuss current affairs.
“I am aware there are agreements and memoranda of understanding in a range of fields. Today’s [Thursday] meeting creates an opportunity to take stock of these to consolidate the work done and resolve challenges that may have hampered the effective implementation of some commitments, if any,” said Pandor.
Pandor said in Pretoria the session took place “in trying times. Both our countries’ economies are emerging from the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The two countries had many similarities and through co-operation were well-placed to rebuild their national economies and contribute to the economic recovery of the region and continent, she said.
“As SA, we are determined to expand efforts to ensure socio-economic development, joint prosperity and the mutual benefit of our people. We believe we have a solid and dependable co-operative partner in Botswana.”
It was important for economic ties and investment flows to grow between the two countries, she added.
“Our interactions and consultations within the framework of this BNC enhance accountability in the implementation of our bilateral agreements.”
Kwape expressed solidarity with the people of KwaZulu-Natal in the wake of devastating floods which resulted in the death of more than 400 people.
Just when we thought we were learning how to live with the pandemic, climate change unleashed a blow in some parts of our regionLemogang Kwape, Botswana minister of international affairs and cooperation
“Just when we thought we were learning how to live with the pandemic, climate change unleashed a blow in some parts of our region. We have been touched by the intensity and the devastating impact of the floods in KwaZulu-Natal,” he said.
He was confident that the people of KZN would be able to reconstruct their lives and rebuild their economy.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi are expected to attend the session on Friday.
Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale said the BNC comprises of political, diplomatic, defence and security, economic and social committees to promote co-operation.
Since the establishment of the BNC in 2010, 38 agreements and memoranda of understanding had been signed.
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