Media Remarks by His Excellency President Jacob Zuma at the end of the Official Talks with His Excellency President Robert Mugabe
08 April 2015
Your Excellency, My Dear Brother, President Robert Mugabe;
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers;
Members of the Media;
Your Excellency, let me start by once again thanking you for accepting and honouring my invitation to undertake a State Visit to South Africa, your second one to our country since the dawn of freedom.
The historic fraternal relations, between our two countries necessitate that we work closely together for the betterment of the lives of our peoples and also to promote sustainable development in our region and continent.
Since the formalisation of relations between South Africa and Zimbabwe in 1994, our two countries have enjoyed cordial bilateral relations under the structured mechanisms of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) and Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security (JPCDS).
These structured mechanisms have facilitated consultations and official engagements between our two countries and provided platforms from which issues of mutual interest could be raised and discussed.
Our deliberations of today, put great emphasis on the importance of signing the Agreement on the Establishment of the Bi-National Commission, whose objective is to take our relations to a higher level and to be led by the Heads of State of our respective countries.
We have also just witnessed the signing of other Agreements to further enhance relations.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Diplomatic Consultations will establish a mechanism for regular diplomatic consultations on issues of strengthening bilateral relations, security and cooperation in Africa and issues of mutual interest.
The Agreement on Cooperation on Water Resources Management and the establishment and functioning of the Joint Water Commission are intended to enhance co-operation in water resources planning, development and management in the spirit of mutual understanding and benefit.
The Agreement Regarding Mutual Assistance between Customs Administrations will enhance co-operation between our customs administrations and a crucial milestone towards the establishment of a One Stop Border Post.
In addition, we have also signed The Memorandum of Understanding on Trade Co-operation.
Our Ministers will work together to ensure the implementation of these agreements and others signed over the years.
South Africa and Zimbabwe not only share strong historical relations, but also strong economic cooperation to the extent that the economies of the two countries are historically and inextricably linked.
Historically, Zimbabwe is always among the top three South Africa’s trading partners on the continent.
South Africa is one of the top investors in the Zimbabwean economy. To take economic relations forward, the South Africa-Zimbabwe Business Forum will meet tomorrow.
Opportunities for deeper economic cooperation exist in the fields of mining, water, energy, infrastructure development, transport and information communication technologies, among others.
His Excellency President Mugabe is also the Chairperson of the African Union and SADC.
In this regard, we have used the opportunity of our meeting to discuss regional and international issues of mutual concern, including establishing an environment of peace and stability in order to achieve regional integration, industrialisation and economic development and the wellbeing of the Region and the continent.
We are united in our determination to work for peace and stability in every corner of the continent.
During our discussions we expressed our condemnation of the attacks in Kenya which claimed the lives of more than 140 students. This enjoins Africa to unite more than ever to protect the citizens of our beloved continent from the evils of terrorism.
We are also united in the quest for sustainable development in the continent, as expressed in the vision document, Agenda 2063.
We also deliberated on the global and multilateral matters of interest and concern, especially the need for the reform of the United Nations Security Council as we head towards the 70th anniversary of the United Nations this year.
Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish to reiterate my pleasure in hosting my esteemed guest, President Robert Mugabe and his delegation, in South Africa on this historic occasion.
This state visit will certainly enhance the relations between South Africa and Zimbabwe to a higher level for the benefit of the people of both countries.
I thank you.
ISSUED BY: THE PRESIDENCY