President Cyril Ramaphosa is hosting the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Ntsokoane Samuel Matekane, who is in Pretoria for the inaugural session of the South Africa-Lesotho Bi-National Commission.
The inaugural session of the Bi-National Commission follows an agreement signed by the two countries in November 2021, to elevate the structured bilateral mechanism from a Joint Bilateral Commission of Co-operation (JBCC) that is held at a ministerial level, to a Bi-National Commission that is presided over by the two heads of State and Government.
Presidency spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya said the gathering at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s OR Tambo Building, in Pretoria would give the two sisterly nations an opportunity to take stock.
“This inaugural session of the Bi-National Commission would provide an opportunity for both countries to take stock and track the implementation of the JBCC decisions taken during the Council of Ministers Meeting held on 20 November 2020 in Maseru, the Kingdom of Lesotho,” he said.
“The Bi-National Commission meeting will also provide both President Ramaphosa and The Right Honourable the Prime Minister Matekane with an opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations and to share information and exchange views on the latest developments in Lesotho and efforts by SADC to facilitate the finalisation of the reform process in Lesotho.”
The inaugural session of the Bi-National Commission was preceded by ministerial sectoral meetings which took place on Wednesday.
The session will consist of the following Sectoral Committees:
• Strategic Political Cluster co-chaired by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation;
• Security and Stability Cluster co-chaired by the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans;
• Economy Cluster co-chaired by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition;
• Social Cluster co-chaired by the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation;
• Good Governance Cluster co-chaired by Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs.
South Africa and Lesotho enjoy strong and cordial relations which are predicated on historical ties dating back to the struggle against colonialism and apartheid in South Africa, shared language and close geographical proximity.