SA, Namibia meeting ends with trade agreements

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pretoria - South Africa and Namibia have signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of transport and infrastructure development, among others.

The maritime and shipping agreement signed between Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele and his Namibian counterpart on Thursday is set to transform relations between Namibia and South Africa in the transportation of goods between the two countries.

The agreements form part of the resolutions taken during an SA-Namibia Economic Bilateral meeting between President Jacob Zuma and President Hifikepunye Pohamba.

The two leaders also committed to ensure the speedy implementation of several regional projects the two countries embarked on. These include the Trans-Kalahari Rail initiatives, a project supported by SA, Namibia and Botswana.

South Africa also committed to engage power utility Eskom as part of plans to fast-track power agreements between SA and Namibia.

Earlier in the day, Pohamba raised concerns about the slow implementation of some of the agreements on energy between Namibia and South Africa.

Another thorny issue that was discussed during the meeting was that of the movement of tourists between SA and Namibia during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Pohamba conceded that the benefits to South Africa's neighbours during the tournament was hindered by restricted cross border movement.

"The potential will not fully materialise if the matter of cross border operations by Namibian tour operators is not addressed," he said.