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South Africa: SA and Lesotho Cement Ties
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Thursday, April 25, 2013
Focus: E-Education
Country: South Africa
Created: Apr 25, 2013

Established in 2001, the JBCC constitutes an on-going process of consolidation of relations between the two neighbours. To date, more than 26 sectorial agreements and memoranda of understanding exist between the two countries.
But despite these, the mountainous kingdom is economically dependent on South Africa. About 30 percent of its economically active population is working and shopping in South Africa.
Poverty is also deep and widespread in that country, with the UN describing 40 percent of the population as "ultra-poor".
Nkoana-Mashabane, who described the relations between the countries as “brotherly and sisterly”, said they have been working on improving relations through various projects.
These include the Lesotho Highlands Water Project and tourism, of which an agreement was signed last year.
Other plans include South Africa helping with immigration matters, in particular the development of the essential population register, as well a possible partnership towards creating renewable energy resources to meet future energy demands.
The meeting also stressed the need for the two sides to continue to work together to minimise cross-border crimes, particularly stock and vehicle theft.
The minister recommitted that Pretoria will provide humanitarian assistance to help ease the developing food crisis in the kingdom.
Nkoana-Mashabane said so far, South Africa will provide R189 million towards food security, which was caused by poor harvest in the past two years.
This will be channelled through the World Food Programme and will help about 25 000 people who are vulnerable for a period of 24 months.
Last year, the Lesotho government made a plea for international aid to address their developing food crisis, which is putting nearly half of its population at risk.
The UN estimates almost R1.5 billion is needed to deal with the crisis.
Tsekoa expressed gratitude to Pretoria for heeding their call for help.
The two leaders said plans and programmes of the JBCC should be actively implemented.
In this regard, they said the two sides will need in the coming weeks to finalise the implementation of the Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which Tsekoa underscored the need to expedite.
The two countries also reiterated their commitment to work together in pursuit of sustainable peace and security in the region and Africa as whole
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