Pretoria: South Africa is satisfied with the political progress in Zimbabwe ahead of an impending election in that country, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said in Pretoria.
“When you are dealing with a political matter, you need all the modalities in place that will allow you to do the things you want to do and in Zimbabwe, they have been doing this,” Nkoana-Mashabane said after a meeting with Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi. She said South Africa remained committed to working with the people of Zimbabwe to ensure the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement, signed by key political players in Zimbabwe in 2008.
Zimbabwe’s government plans to hold a constitutional referendum soon that will pave the way for fresh elections early in 2013. Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa had noted that a draft constitution was presented to an all-inclusive stakeholder conference that was held in Harare last week.
“We understand that the next step will be the tabling of this draft in the Zimbabwean parliament after which a referendum will be organised and then the elections,” she said. Mumbengegwi was also confident that the adoption of a new constitution in Zimbabwe would be completed soon.
Mumbengegwi said South Africa remained critical to Zimbabwe’s economic recovery and political progress. “For Zimbabwe, SA is by far our leading trading partner and therefore regular meetings and consultations are absolutely essential…we would like to express appreciation for the support we continue to receive from South Africa.”
Earlier, the two countries signed several agreements sealing their economic ties. These ranged from agriculture, telecommunications, mining, energy and tourism, among others. Nkoana-Mashabane said economic cooperation between Pretoria and Harare was set to grow with various cooperation agreements that have existed over the years. “We have noted with great satisfaction a noticeable progress in a number of fields as evidenced by the signing of various legal instruments.”