Date and Source
12 March 2019
DIRCO Media Statement:
South Africa hands over humanitarian package to Zimbabwe
“Following the successful two-day Bi-National Commission between Zimbabwe and South Africa, held in Harare, the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation and Transport, Hon. Lindiwe Sisulu, and Hon. Blade Nzimande, respectively, handed over a humanitarian package to the people of Zimbabwe on behalf of the NGO, Gift of the Givers” (DIRCO, 2019).
“Handing over the package, which consists of medical supplies, school stationery and other immediate personal needs, the Ministers said the gift is from the people of South Africa to the people of Zimbabwe”
“On behalf the Gift of the Givers, we extend this consignment to the people of Zimbabwe. We hope this little contribution of medical and other urgent necessities will assist families,” Minister Sisulu said.
The Zimbabwean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Lt General Sibusiso Moyo, said: “On behalf of the Zimbabwean people, we welcome the gift; and this shows the strong bond of friendship that exists between the two countries. This is a true, lifesaving friendship between the people of South Africa and Zimbabwe”.
Date and Source
12 March 2019
SA Government News Agency
Government Statement: SA reiterates support for new Zimbabwe
“President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated South Africa’s commitment to work with Zimbabwe in addressing the socio-economic challenges experienced by the two neighbouring countries”
“During his address, President Ramaphosa said he is encouraged that the two countries are both committed to adhering to the BNC [Bi-National Comission] agreement signed in April 2015, which stipulates that the two countries should meet annually”
“Although our BNC is only just over three years old, our relations date several decades. Through steadfast servicing of this BNC, our two countries will be able to consolidate the bilateral cooperation existing between our countries and to explore other areas of cooperation,” the President said.
“He saluted the new administration for its efforts through the Programme of Action to take Zimbabwe out of its current difficulties and make it a viable partner for South Africa, the region and other development partners”
“In support of your commendable efforts, in February of this year at the World Economic Forum, South Africa made a call to the international community to assist Zimbabwe and lift sanctions. We are pleased that the European Union heeded the call and in February 2019 decided to lift sanctions on the current members of your administration,” he said.
“President Ramaphosa said this is the first of many steps needed to support Zimbabwe’s recovery”
“South Africa stands ready to render support to Zimbabwe within our means in your quest for economic renewal. It is our wish that, using the BNC mechanism, we should at our level strive to provide the strategic impetus to drive the bilateral relations to a significantly higher level”
“The President said South Africa and Zimbabwe should work together to explore a variety of issues to further deepen cooperation. This includes deepening the social ties between the two countries and the region through greater people-to-people cooperation”
“The two countries already work together in many critical areas, such as economic cooperation and infrastructure development, energy production, mining, defence, health, transport, migration issues, and information and communication technology. This is through the signed 45 agreements that are being implemented by State departments”
“I am encouraged by the participation of South African business in various sectors of the Zimbabwean economy such as engineering, construction, banking, retail, hospitality, mining exploration and services, among others. There are undoubtedly good prospects for both of our countries, but there is a need to ensure ease of doing business and elimination of trade barriers,” President Ramaphosa said.
“This should include, he added, the urgent conclusion of all outstanding work on the Beit Bridge One Stop Border Post for facilitation of free movement of persons, goods and services”
Date and Source
13 March 2019
Government hands over financial package to assist Zimbabwe’s police training during 2019 Bi-National Commission: South African Government contributes R55 million for police training and equipment
Then foreign minister, Lindiwe Sisulu asserted:
“[t]he package that comes from myself is to assist through your minister [Zimbabwe foreign minister, Sibusiso Moyo] in the training of the police and in making sure that they have the necessary protective gear to make sure they are equipped. We have realised they are very busy…We therefore decided to donate this for the time being. We are hoping this would be on an ongoing basis. The necessary resources for their training and the necessary resources for the equipment that they will need for their training whatever else that goes with it. The initial sum that we could find from our reserves is $55 million Rand which we are now signing off. We are hoping that we can continue in this relationship and we are glad that you reached out to us.”
Zimbabwe’s foreign minister Sibusiso Moyo acknowledged the receipt of the financial package and expressed gratitude for South Africa’s support by stating:
“[t]he fulcrum of any economic development between two nations especially and the success of the Bi-National Commission is centred on stability and effective and acceptable means of ensuring and enforcing law and order within any country so that business can flourish and the economic emancipation of people can then be realised and ultimately this is what we are aiming to do,” he said. “In accepting this particular support of 55 million Rand I would like to state that this is quite a clear testimony of what our brothers and sisters in South Africa can do in order to enhance the capacity of areas and gaps which could have been identified…When a neighbour’s house catches you don’t ask who caused it. You just go and extinguish the fire and later on you can then investigate who exactly did it when it has been extinguished.”
NOTE: post the Third (2019) Bi-National Commission, there have been no formal or official policy assertions by the SAG/ANC relating to Zimbabwe.
This is in spite of growing calls by civil society and Zimbabwean stakeholders committed to democratic reform for South African policymakers to actively support a genuine national dialogue process in Zimbabwe.
However, the unrest and disturbances in Gauteng relating to the issue of migrants in the Johannesburg CDB area is likely to lead to the SAG adopting strict migration policies in the future.