Communiqué on the Bi-National Commission between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Botswana
1. The Summit Meeting of the Second Session of the Bi-National Commission between the Republic of Botswana and the Republic of South Africa was held in Gaborone on 20th November 2014. The Summit was preceded by the Meeting of the Ministers on 19th November 2014 and the Meeting of Officials from 17th to 18th November 2014.
2. The Commission was Co-chaired by His Excellency Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of the Republic of Botswana, and His Excellency Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa.
3. The Agreement establishing the Bi-National Commission between the two countries was signed on 29 August 2012 in Gaborone during President Zuma’s State Visit to Botswana. The Bi-National Commission merged the then existing two bilateral mechanisms, namely the Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation and the Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security.
4. In their opening remarks, the two Presidents noted with satisfaction, ongoing progress in many areas of cooperation including; Agriculture, Defence and Security, Education, Energy, Environment, Health, Home Affairs, Justice, Labour, Minerals, Science and Technology, Trade and Industry, Sports, Transport, Water etc.
5. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the deepening of existing strategic cooperation and partnership for the mutual benefit of the two countries and peoples.
6. The two Heads of State exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. On bilateral co-operation, their Excellencies underscored the excellent relations that exist between Botswana and South Africa, founded on deep historical, cultural, linguistic and family ties, as well as shared values of mutual respect, commitment to democracy, good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
7. Their Excellencies further noted that 34 agreements have over the years been signed between the two countries covering inter alia immigration, defence and security, energy, trade, transport and environment. The two Heads of State emphasized the need to fully implement all the signed Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs).
8. The Commission welcomed ongoing cooperation in various sectors including scholarship offers on Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and training in other fields of science and technology. In this regard, the Commission noted the conclusion of MoU on Energy Research & Development between Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) and South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), which was signed in June 2014.
9. The Commission welcomed the signing of the Revised TSWASA Water Supply Agreement during the 2nd Session of the Bi-National Commission between the Republic of Botswana and the Republic of South Africa. The revised Agreement allows flexibility between the two countries to effect allocation of water to the greater Gaborone area between the rainy seasons subject to the Molatedi dam water levels.
10. The Commission further welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Trade and Industrial cooperation. This MoU provides for the widening and broadening of economic cooperation between the two countries.
11. The Commission underscored the importance of expediting essential infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges that will help facilitate smooth movement of people, goods and enhance trade between the two countries.
12. On regional issues, the two Heads of State exchanged views on political developments in the region and the continent including the situation in the DRC, Lesotho and Madagascar, the elections recently held in Botswana, Mozambique, as well as upcoming elections in Namibia, Mauritius, Zambia and Lesotho.
13. His Excellency President Jacob Zuma expressed gratitude to His Excellency Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, the Government and people of the Republic of Botswana for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him and his delegation.
14. His Excellency President Jacob Zuma invited His Excellency Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama to the Third Session of the Bi-National Commission to be held in South Africa at a date to be mutually decided.
20 November 2014