Zimbabwe's finance minister, Tendai Biti, will reportedly be meeting with the South African government in the next two weeks to secure 'budgetary support' to the tune of $100m (or R827 million at the current exchange rate).
I have written to Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, urging him to ensure that any loan funding granted to Zimbabwe is strictly conditional on adherence to the roadmap for peaceful political transition outlined in the Global Political Agreement.
In particular, we cannot provide funding to Zimbabwe if agreement is not reached on a new Zimbabwean constitution or if an election before the new constitution has been finalised and agreed by all relevant parties.
We will also recommend that the funding is given on a ring-fenced basis for specific projects and not as a blank cheque for Mugabe. Project-based funding will allow for more effective monitoring - making it possible to ensure that real benefits accrue to the people of Zimbabwe.
Rumours abound that Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe plans to call an early election later this year and that a recurrence of the violence and intimidation that characterised the 2008 elections is likely.
Without the appropriate conditions attached to a loan, funding from South Africa could go to Mugabe's war chest. The money is then more likely to be used for political campaigning and bulking up Mugabe's militia than for any tangible benefit to the Zimbabwean people. It will be unconscionable for this to be allowed to happen.
Ian Davidson, Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation