Communique on the State Visit to South Africa of H.E. President Festus G. Mogae, Cape Town, 24-27 October 2005

1. At the invitation of HE President Thabo Mbeki of the Republic of South Africa, President Festus Mogae of the Republic of Botswana visited South Africa from 24 to 27 October 2005, for his first state visit to South Africa since his election as President of Botswana in 1998.

2. President Mogae was accompanied by Mrs B Mogae, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Lt Gen M Merafhe, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr B Gaolathe, two Assistant Ministers, Mr F Ramsden and Mrs M Mbaakanyi, Botswana's High Commissioner to South Africa, HE Mr MKJ Masisi and other senior officials.

3. President Mbeki was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, South Africa's High Commissioner to Botswana, Ms EVG Komane, Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr M Mpahlwa, Minister of Correctional Services, Mr N Balfour, Minister of Agriculture, Ms T Didiza, Minister of Provincial and Local Government, Mr S Mufamadi, Minister of Education, Ms N Pandor, Minister of Transport, Mr J Radebe, Minister of Health, Dr M Tshabalala-Msimang, Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr P Jordan and senior Government officials.

4. President Mbeki welcomed President Mogae and his delegation to South Africa, and reiterated South Africa's commitment to close fraternal relations with Botswana. Discussions were held in a friendly and constructive manner. Both Parties noted with satisfaction the excellent relations between the two countries. President Mbeki recalled his state visit to Botswana in March 2003, during which he was given a singular honour of addressing Botswana's Parliament. President Mbeki once again thanked Botswana for this meaningful gesture.

5. The Heads of Delegation reaffirmed their intention to work towards further strengthening bilateral relations, as well as to intensify the close co-operation between the two countries for the future well-being of both their peoples, and for the benefit of the African continent as a whole.

6. The Heads of Delegation noted that while relations have been cordial between the two countries since South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994, the signing of the Agreement on the Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation (JPCC) in 2003 laid the legal and institutional framework to consolidate and deepen the bilateral relations.

7. The Parties noted that since the establishment of the JPCC, agreements on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and in the Field of Science and Technology Cooperation had been signed. The Parties further noted with appreciation and satisfaction the signing of the following six agreements, Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Agriculture, Aeronautical Search and Rescue Agreement, Sports and Recreation Agreement, Agreement in the field of Arts and Culture, Memorandum of Understanding on Health Matters and Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between Local Government Authorities. The Parties further noted that the signing of the six Agreements would enhance cooperation between the respective departments/ministries in various fields including agriculture, health, local government, sports, culture and transport.

8. The Heads of Delegation noted the report of the Ministerial meeting, which reported on progress in the following areas:

  • Economic issues
  • Social issues
  • Local government
  • Security and stability
  • Strategic Foreign Policy issues

9. The two Parties committed themselves to the full implementation of the Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation and all the signed bilateral agreements.

10. President Mbeki expressed South Africa's pleasure at Botswana's taking over chair of SADC at the Summit in August 2005. He further indicated that South Africa looked forward to Botswana's leadership, and assured Botswana of South Africa's support in key issues identified by President Mogae in his acceptance speech at the Summit.

11. The two Heads of Delegation renewed their commitment to actively participate in programmes and mechanisms of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) as the basis for the development of the continent.

12. The Parties discussed regional and multilateral developments, in particular the reform of the United Nations institutions. The two Heads of Delegation agreed to continue collaborating closely in their efforts in these matters.

13. President Mogae expressed Botswana's appreciation of the role South Africa was playing in conflict resolution on the continent, in countries such as Sudan, Burundi, DRC and Cote d' Ivoire.

14. President Mogae thanked President Mbeki and his Government and people of South Africa for the invitation for the State Visit and for the generous hospitality accorded to him, Mrs Mogae and his delegation throughout their stay in South Africa.

Cape Town, 25 October 2005

Issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs

Private Bag X152

25 October 2005

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa