South African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives in the country today to co-chair the Bi-National Commission (BNC) with President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Ramaphosa’s visit comes on the heels of President of Botswana Keabetswe Masisi, who signed several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with Mnangagwa.
A statement released by the South African government says:
To date, the two countries have signed 45 agreements, which cover a wide range of fields, including trade and investment, health, labour, migration, defence, taxation, tourism, scientific and technological cooperation, water and environment.
The permanent secretary in the ministry of Information Nick Mangwana had this to say:
We can’t be a country pushing for great relationships with countries afar when we have poor relations with those countries with which we share so much including borders.
Regarding MoUs or bailouts, let’s not be pre-emptive about the outcomes of the interactions between our countries’ leadership. Announcements will be made in their due season.
However, analysts have warned that South Africa will not be giving Zimbabwe a bailout package. Stephen Chan had this to say:
The South Africans have already made it clear they have not much to give. It’s Ramaphosa’s election year.
He can’t be seen by his voters to be giving billions to Zimbabwe when the South African economy itself needs a kick-start.
Another analyst, International Crisis Group consultant Piers Pigou said:
It provides an opportunity for Ramaphosa to see how best South Africa could help move reform and recovery options forward.
But this requires Ramaphosa excavating the full picture, not a selective sanitised version of developments, as evidenced from minister Ncube’s recent reform progress report to the IMF.
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