Joint Communiqué at the conclusion of the bilateral discussions between President Jacob Zuma and President Joyce Banda on the occasion of President Banda’s working visit to South Africa, 27 April 2012.

  1. Her Excellency, Mrs. Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi, accompanied by a Ministerial and Senior Officials’ delegation paid a working visit to South Africa on 27 April 2012.

  2. During the visit, President Banda met with her South African counterpart, H.E. President Jacob Zuma to review the state of bilateral relations between the two countries.

  3. The two Heads of State expressed satisfaction with the current state of bilateral cooperation between the two countries as conducted within the framework of the Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation (JCC).

  4. In this regard, the two Heads of State directed their Ministers of International Relations and Foreign Affairs to ensure that this important Commission meets regularly to maintain the required momentum in the implementation of the existing bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding.

  5. To further give expression to strong bilateral relations between the two countries, both parties agreed that the next Session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation will be held in South Africa in early June 2012, the exact date to be determined through the diplomatic channel.

  6. Both Heads of State reiterated their commitment in improving and strengthening both the political and economic relations by enhancing cooperation between the business communities of the two countries as well as increasing trade and investment. In the same vein, both countries agreed to encourage people-to-people contacts through cultural, scientific and educational exchange programmes and tourism.

  7. H.E. President Banda used the opportunity of her visit to brief President Zuma about the socio-economic challenges facing Malawi paying particular focus on the fuel and forex reserves shortages.

  8. In this regard, the South African Government has agreed to extend a loan of US$35 million to the Government of Malawi to assist with the availability of fuel in Malawi. This loan will be extended to the Government of Malawi in three installments with the first installment of US$10 million paid on 24 April 2012.

  9. The two Heads of State took the opportunity to also reflect on the Malawi’s state of readiness with respect to the hosting of the AU Summit in July 2012.

  10. As it has done to a number of African countries before, the South African Government has committed to support the Government of Malawi with logistical assistance to ensure that the AU Summit is hosted successfully.

  11. President Banda expressed her Government’s profound gratitude to President Zuma and his Government for the support.

  12. President Banda also used the occasion to thank South Africa for assistance provided, following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika.

  13. President Zuma commended Her Excellency, President Banda and the people of Malawi for peaceful transfer of power, following the death of former President Bingu wa Mutharika.

  14. The two Heads of State also exchanged views on the issues of mutual interests particularly issues of peace, security and stability on the Continent.

  15. In conclusion, President Banda, on behalf of the Malawian delegation and the people of Malawi, expressed her appreciation to President Zuma, the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa for the warm welcome and the hospitality which was accorded to the Malawian delegation.

Done in Pretoria, Republic of South Africa

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa