SOUTH Africa stands ready to assist Zimbabwe so that reforms being implemented in the country to turn around the economy can succeed, the neighbouring country’s International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has said.
Zimbabwe is in the process of implementing a new economic blueprint, Transitional Stabilisation Programme, meant to turn around the country’s economic fortunes.
The economic blueprint is running from this month to December 2020.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has also announced a vision to turn the country into a middle income nation by 2030.
According to South Africa media reports, Minister Sisulu said her country was hoping for economic stability in Zimbabwe.
“As and when Zimbabwe requests our support in anything, we will be able to provide them with that support, fully. We wish the people of Zimbabwe well.
It’s a country that we regard as a friend, and we would like some stability there. We would like the economic reforms that have been put in place to succeed there,” said Minister Sisulu.
“In so far as Zimbabwe is concerned, we stand very ready at all times to assist the people of Zimbabwe. We have had a very long standing relationship with the people of Zimbabwe from the time we were in the struggle.”
She said her country would not impose itself on Zimbabwe but would assist if requested to do so.
“At any time they need our assistance, they are able to request our assistance. We would not be able to go to Zimbabwe and say here is a bag of whatever and you will have it. I think international relations depends on reciprocity,” Minister Sisulu said.
South Africa is Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner and the two nations share a rich history dating back to the liberation struggle of the two countries.
More than 169 000 Zimbabweans are set to benefit from South Africa’s Zimbabwe Exemption Permits allowing them to stay in the neighbouring country up to 2021.