SA, DRC deepen relations

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pretoria - Top government officials from South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including bigwigs from the two countries' private sectors, are due to map out stronger political and economic cooperation during today's South Africa-DRC Bi-National Commission (BNC).

President Jacob Zuma, will lead a high-powered local team, comprising ministers and a private sector team, to the meeting this morning.

Zuma will co-chair the meeting with his counterpart President Joseph Kabila who arrived at the OR Tambo International Airport last night.

Issues expected to come under the spotlight, include the continued support for the DRC's post-conflict reconstruction and development programme.

Security, defence and financial issues will also be thrashed out by the two delegations.

The violence in the eastern DRC will also be high on the agenda with South Africa pushing DRC to take action.

With DRC being the current chairman of the regional block SADC, the two leaders will also discuss regional issues, including the current stalemate in Zimbabwe.

The BNC comes as South African farmers will soon have access to more than 1 million hectares of farmland in the DRC. A formal agreement is expected to be signed during the meeting.