Zim must show signs of commitment to economic recovery

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pretoria - Zimbabwe needs to signal to the international community its commitment to economic recovery.

"We expect them to send stronger messages of commitment to the international community," Foreign Affairs Director General Ayanda Ntsaluba said, addressing the media on Wednesday.

He said this would increase their confidence in that country's inclusive government in which Morgan Tsvangirai holds the position of Prime Minister and Robert Mugabe as President.

Although South Africa is happy by the progress made by the inclusive government and confident it will be able to deal with the challenges ahead, the international community still needs to be reassured.

Mr Ntsaluba said South Africa was willing to help Zimbabwe with their reconstruction.

"We will do everything possible to speed up the process for Zimbabwe to regain its place as an important trading partner," he said, adding that in the long term it will benefit South Africa.

Although South Africa will make its own contribution, the Southern African Development Community will take the lead.

Mr Ntsaluba said there was a general expectation that South Africa should do more, but that South Africa "must not measure what we do with others".

He said South Africa would in the next coming weeks enter into various Memorandum of Understandings including agriculture and health with Zimbabwe to speed up economic recovery in that country.

He said Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) had visited Zimbabwe earlier this week to discuss how South Africa's business community could offer a helping hand to the new government.

BUSA's Patrice Motsepe said Zimbabwe was likely to receive numerous investments in the next two years.

"I have confidence that anyone who commits resources to Zimbabwe will see that the country is a good place to do business in," said Mr Motsepeat shortky after the meeting in Harare.

He is one of South Africa's most affluent businessmen and owner of the South African Premier League soccer club Mamelodi Sundowns.

Mr Motsepe said the South African business community was willing to come and invest in Zimbabwe, adding that doing so was part of paying back for Zimbabwe's contribution to South Africa's economy.

He expressed satisfaction at the progress being made by the new government to attract investors as well as create a conducive environment for business.