Southern Africa: SA President Ramaphosa Zim-Bound

Harare CBD.
20 February 2019

SOUTH African President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to lead a high-powered delegation to Zimbabwe next month to discuss bilateral issues affecting the two countries.

In a statement, South Africa's International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said top on the agenda would be the issue of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West.

"We are preparing for a bi-national meeting with Zimbabwe on March 12, 2019. Our President (Ramaphosa) will lead the delegation to Harare. I thought by now sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe Government and its people would be lifted to enable the country to start afresh after all the challenges they have gone through," she said in a statement posted on the department's official Twitter account.

"We call on EU and particularly the United Kingdom (UK) to give the Government and the people of Zimbabwe a chance to change their situation by urgently lifting the sanctions. Without lifting the sanctions, the Government of Zimbabwe will never be able to address its economic challenges, and this is compromising the political gains achieved since the coming in of the new President."

Minister Sisulu said Zimbabwe and South Africa have strong ties dating back to the days of the liberation struggle.

She wished Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is not feeling well, speedy recovery.

Recently, 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 has turned a wonderful corner and needs support on its path to great reforms.

He made the call to EU leaders during last year's 7th South Africa European Union Summit in Brussels, Belgium, where they discussed a number of issues around trade, climate change, women's rights among other global issues.

Upon his assumption of office as the Head of State and Government in November 2017, President Mnangagwa's first foreign visit was to South Africa.

He met President Ramaphosa and former President Jacob Zuma as part of moves to deepen economic ties between Harare and Pretoria.

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