top story SA, Botswana strengthen ties

It is important that the more than 30 agreements South Africa signed with Botswana are implemented, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday. "We need to review this agreement and see if they are being implemented or not," Zuma said in Gaborone during a bi-national commission. Botswana and South Africa remained strong partners, and have signed more than 30 agreements over the years. This emerged at the just ended second bi-national commission between the two countries held in Botswana's capital. In a communique jointly issued after the meeting on Thursday, it was announced that Pretoria and Gaborone have signed 34 agreements covering immigration, defence and security, energy, trade, and the environment. Zuma was accompanied by a number of his Cabinet ministers. Botswana President Ian Khama, who recently won the country's elections, giving a fresh mandate to his Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), said he was "delighted we are deliberating on innovative signed agreements". The two countries are currently co-operating on scholarships offered by the Square Kilometre Array and training in fields of science and technology. An agreement for co-operation in the water sector was among those signed. "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," a communique read. Gaborone Dam, one the country's oldest, is currently drying after poor rains over the years. Zuma and Khama exchanged views on political developments in the region, in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar, and on upcoming elections in Lesotho, Zambia, and Namibia. Zuma invited Khama to attend the next bi-national commission in South Africa, to be held at a date to be confirmed later. Zuma, who admitted his ANC party faced a tough call at the May elections, much like the BDP, said the two remained strong partners linked by historical events.




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Pravin Gordhan
Minister of Finance, South Africa, at the Ai CEO Investment Climate Summit 2012
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
Chairperson, AUC, at the Ai CEO Infrastructure Investment Summit 2013
Ed Mathias
Director, Carlyle Group, at the Ai CEO Infrastructure Investment Summit 2013
John Oliphant
Principal Executive Officer, Government Employees Pension Fund

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