Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his delegation were welcomed at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria, South Africa on Monday evening for an official visit.
South African President Jacob Zuma will host Mugabe for the South Africa-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC), which will be co-chaired by both presidents.
“It will further provide a platform to strengthen and deepen the warm and cordial bilateral relations between the two countries as well as to review and determine the actual progress made on bilateral undertakings and commitments made during the inauguration Session of the BNC last year,” according to the South African Presidency.
South Africa and Zimbabwe traditionally have good bilateral political, economic and social relations. But, Zuma and Mugabe will likely discuss regional and global issues – peace, security, stability and development.
“As you (delegation) are aware, the people of South Africa consider Zimbabwe a great friend and neighbor,” South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Nkoana-Mashabane said at Monday's BNC.
Zimbabwe is among South Africa’s top five trading partners with more than 120 companies doing business in Zimbabwe, across several sectors including mining, aviation, tourism, banking, property, retail, construction and fast food.
Nkoana-Mashabane said the joint “partnership can contribute towards this noble goal, if we work together with single-mindedness,” adding that the BNC will facilitate a renewal and strengthening of the existing bonds between the two countries.
“Today the struggle we wage is not for liberation but against the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.”
The minister also expressed eagerness to work on regional integration and the implementation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Industrialisation Strategy.
More than three dozen Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and Agreements have been signed by the two nations.
The BNC agreement was reached in 2015.