His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday, 19 March 2021, received His Excellency President Eric Mokgweesi Masisi, the President of the Republic of Botswana, on the occasion of a Working Visit.

President Ramaphosa accepted the request from His Excellency President Masisi to undertake a Working Visit to South Africa to discuss bilateral issues and to exchange views on regional developments.

South Africa and Botswana enjoys a historic and fraternal relations which were cemented during the struggle against colonialism and apartheid. Bilateral cooperation between the two countries took place within the rubric of the South Africa – Botswana Bi-National Commission (BNC) which was established in 2010.

To date the BNC remains a very important structured mechanism to streamline and coordinate cooperation between the two countries at the highest level and it consists of four clusters, which are diplomatic, economic, social, and defence and security.

The meeting provided an opportunity not only to share views on regional developments but also to discuss continental and global issues of mutual interest.

The two President had time to speak about economic integration in our SADC region and also the deep and very good relations between Botswana and SA that stem from many, many years – but also how best to deepen, broaden and enhance those relations, particularly on economic matters and decided to solidify those relations through ensuring our binational dealings are speeded up even during the period of Covid-19,” said Ramaphosa.

He said there were a number of areas of cooperation which the two countries needed to enhance and solidify, including economic dealings and “at the social level, political level and environmental level, including climate change issues”.

“They also discussed the Covid-19 challenge in the region and in the two countries and agreed to develop good strategies to work together on issues such as the opening and closing of borders.”