Joint Communique on the Third Session of the Bi-National Commission between Zimbabwe and South Africa, 7 – 12 March 2019, Harare, Zimbabwe

1. At the invitation of His Excellency, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo MNANGAGWA, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency, Cde Matamela Cyril RAMAPHOSA, President of the Republic of South Africa, paid an Official Visit to Zimbabwe from 11 – 12 March 2019, for the Third Session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between the two countries. President Ramaphosa was accompanied by five (5) Cabinet Ministers.

2. The Third Session was preceded by the meetings of the Ministers on 11 March 2019 and Senior Officials from 7 – 8 March 2019.

3. During the meeting, the two Heads of State held discussions with a view to further strengthening and deepening bonds of friendship and cooperation between Zimbabwe and South Africa. They also exchanged views on regional, continental and international issues of mutual interest.

4. The two Presidents underlined the close and friendly bilateral ties deeply rooted in shared history, sustained and nourished through growing economic partnership, multifaceted cooperation as well as vibrant people-to-people contacts.

5. The discussions were held in a cordial atmosphere.

6. The two Heads of State welcomed the positive outcomes of the Third BNC held in Harare in 2019. They directed the Ministers and Officials to implement the decisions taken by the Heads of State to further cement the strategic bilateral partnership.

7. The two sides emphasized the importance of expanding trade and investment to drive the strategic engagement forward. In this regard, the Heads of State directed their Finance and Trade Ministers to work together to achieve these goals.

8. Zimbabwe highlighted the key initiatives taken by Government to improve the ease of doing business in the country and further informed on the country’s efforts to simplify and rationalize investment rules with the view to attract foreign direct investment.

9. The relevant Ministries agreed to consider options for expanding the standing Facility arrangement between the respective Central Banks. Other Financing Options beyond this are also being explored (for example a facility from South African private banks to the Zimbabwe private sector and guaranteed by the South African Government, with an appropriate counter-guarantee from the Zimbabwe Government).

10. They also agreed to work together on re-engagement with the International Co-operating Partners in support of Zimbabwe’s economic reform and Debt Arrears Clearance Agenda.

11. Zimbabwe expressed appreciation for the unwavering commitment of the Government and people of South Africa in calling for the removal of illegal and unwarranted sanctions which are stifling the country’s economic recovery programme.

12. The two Leaders unequivocally called for the removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe whose adverse effects have been far-reaching across the political and socio-economic spectrums.

13. The two Presidents emphasized the importance of enhancing strategic bilateral engagement, particularly in defence and security cooperation, to accomplish the common interests of the two countries and their peoples.

14. At the multilateral level, the Commission welcomed the convergence of views on regional, continental and international issues and agreed to further harmonize their positions especially in view of South Africa’s non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council and its upcoming assumption of the Chair of the African Union in 2020.

15. Zimbabwe expressed goodwill and confidence in the successful holding of elections in South Africa which will take place on 8 May 2019.

16. The two leaders expressed their deepest condolences to the Government and the people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and all other nations on the sad loss of lives in the recent air disaster involving flight ET103.

17. At the conclusion of the BNC, His Excellency, Cde Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa expressed gratitude to His Excellency, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and the people of the Republic of Zimbabwe for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.

18. His Excellency, President Ramaphosa extended an invitation to his counterpart, His Excellency, President Mnangagwa, to attend the Fourth Session of the BNC, to be hosted by South Africa in 2020, on a date to be agreed and communicated through diplomatic channels.

Source: Department of International Relations and Cooperation