The South African Government has congratulated Botswana on its anniversary of independence, saying South Africa enjoys the freedom it has today thanks to the contribution of African countries.
"South Africa is an African country and the freedom we enjoy today could not have been achieved without the support of the people of Botswana and all African countries. The people of Botswana constantly faced the wrath of the apartheid regime by housing and supporting our liberation struggle cadres," said Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina.
This was the Deputy Minister's comments on behalf of government and the people of South Africa, at the Botswana National Day celebrations in Pretoria.
Independence Day of Botswana, is a national holiday observed in Botswana on September 30 annually. The day celebrates Botswana's Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 30 September 30,1966.
Gina said the recent attacks on foreign nationals and South Africans were of concern to everyone.
She said President Cyril Ramaphosa has unequivocally condemned these acts of violence.
She added that South Africa and the landlocked Botswana share a close relationship.
"In order for us as Africans to understand and appreciate the vision of a united and prosperous Africa, our two countries cooperate in many areas that increase the economic well-being of our people.
"To date, South Africa and Botswana have signed 36 Memoranda of Understanding and Agreements. These agreements cover a broad spectrum of areas including transport, trade and investment, health, education, environmental issues, water, science and technology among others."
These agreements, she said, are a reflection of the commitment that the two governments share in building a better life for its people.
"I believe that as long as we share a common vision of the future, we will continue to support citizens of our countries as they work to build a better future," stated Gina.
Regarding economic ties between the two countries, Gina acknowledged Botswana's continued significance as one of South Africa's major trading partners in the region. She said there is a large presence of South African companies in Botswana who are involved in various sectors such as housing, food and beverages, construction, retail, hotels and leisure, banking and medical services.
She further said South Africa is thankful for the investment opportunities that Botswana has afforded it, adding that South African companies will continue to contribute to the growth and development of the Botswana economy.
"There is strong commitment on both sides to advance the agenda of the African continent globally, through dialogue and coordination of positions. South Africa and Botswana as members of Southern African Development Community [SADC] work together in the continent to find amicable solutions to the political and security challenges in the region."
Meanwhile, Gina wished Botswana well on the upcoming elections that are scheduled for 23 October.