SOUTH Africa has reaffirmed its commitment to support Zimbabwe in addressing socio-economic challenges in the country and reiterated its call for the removal of sanctions imposed by the West.
Speaking in Parliament during a debate on the State of the Nation Address last week, the neighbouring country's International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe would boost the country's economy.
She said her country would do whatever it takes to help ease the socio-economic challenges in Zimbabwe.
"Zimbabwe has had an on-going, challenging socio-economic situation which has inadvertently had an impact on us in South Africa.
"The President (Cyril Ramaphosa) has been in engagements with the President of Zimbabwe (Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa), and we now have a clearer picture of what is happening in Zimbabwe.
"As such, we stand ready to assist in addressing the challenges that face Zimbabwe because they impact on us," said Minister Sisulu.
"We would like to express our support for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe in order to allow for economic development in that country."
She said South Africa and Zimbabwe have a long-standing relationship dating back to the period of the liberation struggle.
"We have had a very long-standing relationship with the people of Zimbabwe from the time we were in the struggle. At any time they need our assistance, they are able to request our assistance," said Minister Sisulu.
Last month, President Ramaphosa took the campaign against illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe to the 49th edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
Last year, President Ramaphosa also called on the European Union (EU) to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe, saying the country had turned a corner and needed support on its path of reform.