South Africa and Lesotho fight illegal mining. In a meeting with Lesotho’s Prime Minister, Samuel Matekane, in Pretoria on Thursday, Ramaphosa highlighted the economic toll that such activities take on both countries. The meeting was part of a working visit to South Africa by Matekane to co-chair the inaugural session of the binational commission (BNC).
Ramaphosa expressed his sadness over the loss of lives of illegal miners in Harmony Gold Mine in Welkom and assured that both governments are working with the mining company to retrieve the remains of the miners safely. He emphasized that this matter is highly sensitive and emotive, particularly for the people of Lesotho, and assured that South Africa will handle this challenge appropriately.
South Africa and Lesotho fight illegal mining, Strengthening Bilateral Relations
Ramaphosa also welcomed Matekane’s commitment to prioritizing the implementation and completion of the comprehensive national reform process. He stated that the elevation of the bilateral commission of co-operation between the two countries to a binational commission is a testament to their unwavering commitment to bolster relations for mutual benefit.
The President highlighted that South Africa values its bilateral relations and co-operation with Lesotho, which are anchored in historic bonds of language, culture, and heritage. He noted that economic relations between their two countries have grown over the years and continue to mutually benefit their respective peoples.
Future Collaborations and Projects
Ramaphosa welcomed Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project as a vital development to enhance water security in Gauteng province and other parts of South Africa. He stated that this project also contributes to job creation in Lesotho and the construction of new roads, bringing access to previously inaccessible areas of Lesotho.
Furthermore, Ramaphosa expressed South Africa’s readiness to co-operate with Lesotho to resolve any challenges that may arise in the implementation of this project. He also mentioned South Africa’s keenness to work with its neighbor on four proposed renewable energy projects.
Finally, Ramaphosa assured that South Africa will continue to support the Southern African Development Community (SADC) panel of elders and mediation reference group initiative to assist Basotho in completing the national reform process.