On Friday, 29 January 2016, the South African Minister of Transport, Ms Dipuo Peters, and her Zimbabwean counterpart, Minister Dr Joram Gumbo, successfully ratified an agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe on transport development related matters.
In response to His Excellency President Robert Mugabe’s State Visit to South Africa in April 2015, the Department of Transport has prioritised playing its key designated role in strengthening diplomatic relations between the two countries, as vigorously emphasised by the two Heads of State during the state visit.
The transport sector is widely understood to form the nucleus of any developing nation’s economy. Thus, the significance of the two Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries concluding the MoU on transport development matters cannot be understated.
The primary objective of the MoU is to promote investments, industry and trade co-operation between the two countries on equitable terms by setting tasks to be performed and obligations to be met by each Party in order to facilitate an increased flow of investments and the enhancement of trade co-operation, including institutional co-operation.
Speaking after the signing was concluded in Zimbabwe, Minister Peters said the following:
“It is expected that the MoU signing will bolster collaborative efforts to find new approaches and strategies for consolidating, expanding and deepening co-operation between the two countries in the field of transport, based on principles of national sovereignty, reciprocity, opportunities to implement world class projects, and of win-win outcomes.”
The signing was based on regular meetings and high level consultations between the Heads of State and bilateral meetings between the Ministers responsible for Transport in both countries.
Prior to marking their seals of approval on the MoU, both Ministers expressed their highest gratitudes to their respective Heads of State for creating a platform for the neighbouring countries to elevate Bi-lateral relations and increase mutual cooperation on various critical developmental issues plaguing the SADC region.