President Cyril Ramaphosa says as the world strives to emerge from the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, neighbouring countries like Mozambique and South Africa must continue to deepen and strengthen the already existing ties between them.
The President was speaking at a Plenary Session of the third South Africa-Mozambique Bi-National Commission (BNC) held in Pretoria.
The commission promotes cooperation between the two countries and encompasses committees in politics and diplomacy, defence and security, the economy and social development.
“Our two countries share a common view on issues of peace, stability, economic development, regional and continental integration.
“We are both undertaking programmes to advance youth development, women’s empowerment, poverty alleviation and job creation.
“These are some of the concrete steps we are taking to realise the vision of the AU’s Agenda 2063 and to improve the lives of our people,” President Ramaphosa said on Friday.
President Ramaphosa told the commission that South Africa is expanding cooperation with Mozambique, particularly in the energy sector.
Currently, the country supplies South Africa with at least 1 000MW of electricity per day from the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric power station.
“Mozambique remains one of South Africa’s top trading partners in the region, and there are several opportunities for expansion. South Africa is keen, in particular, to expand cooperation in the energy sector.
“Mozambique is endowed with significant volumes of natural gas. This can benefit not only the people of Mozambique and South Africa, but also the rest of the SADC region.
“Energy security is vital to economic growth in our respective countries, and we look forward to significant progress towards securing and sustaining our energy needs,” the President said.
Security and international relations
President Ramaphosa recommitted South Africa’s support – through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) – for Mozambique in the fight against terrorism-backed conflict and insurgency in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado region.
“We have weathered many difficulties in the past and through our resilience, we have emerged stronger. The crisis you are confronting in Cabo Delgado is no different.
“We will face it together with the same determination, certain that the forces of democracy and peace will be victorious,” he said.
The President revealed that on the international stage, South Africa will back Mozambique’s bid to have a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.
“Our countries share similar views on the need to reform the United Nations Security Council, to make it an organ that is representative, where the African continent can have a voice.
“South Africa fully supports Mozambique’s candidature for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council. Together with South Africa’s tenure in the AU Peace and Security Council, this will provide an opportunity for our countries to further cement cooperation between the two councils, especially in the area of financing peace support operations,” he said.