Only Zimbabweans can solve their economic, political challenges – SA Minister

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By Staff Reporter

WHILE South Africa and other countries in the region are ready to help, only Zimbabweans have the solutions to the country’s problems, a Cabinet Minister in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government has said.

South Africa’s International Relations Minister, Naledi Pandor on Monday said this while delivering a keynote address at a symposium hosted by SA’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) at the University of South Africa (UNISA) in Pretoria. The symposium was held under the theme: “Best Path to (a) Prosperous Zimbabwe”.

“I think it is important to begin by saying the social, political and economic situation that is confronting Zimbabwe is one of the most challenging facing us in this southern Africa region.

“I think this is a stark fact, a reality that all of us can agree upon. This symposium, we regard it as our modest contribution to the beginning process of finding solutions to the many complex challenges which we believe would be resolved primarily by the people of Zimbabwe with the assistance of all countries in the Sadc region,” said Pandor.

“The real, sustainable solutions will come from the people of Zimbabwe and we should not fool ourselves (to think) we have the solution. We would like to be a party to assisting and finding a way of resolving the problem as they confront our brotherly and sisterly country.”

Pandor added that there were serious and seemingly intractable political factors that might need attention if solutions were to be effective or implementable.

“The political formations in Zimbabwe remain at loggerheads and have apparent deep antipathy towards each other, which makes joint decision making and planning extremely difficult.

“It seems clear that even as we support the call for an end to economic sanctions, the political dynamics are inextricably linked to the economy and thus should be confronted simultaneously and would certainly ease the development of Sadc contributions in response,” she said.

Pandor said although South Africa supported the resolution of the August Sadc summit to dedicate October 25 as a day for calling for an end to sanctions against Zimbabwe, the regional bloc should approach the institutions and nations that have sanctions on Zimbabwe.

“We felt that we might need to go a step beyond such a call and perhaps initiate a process of reflecting on the solutions that could be considered to actively address the challenge.

“I have seen this over the last six months as International Relations Minister that we are all very competent at addressing, formulating and adopting resolutions yet far too inadequate in informed reflection on what solutions or approaches may be practicable,” said the SA Minister.

“Sadc may need to go beyond the resolution and engage those who have imposed sanctions to agree on lifting sanctions to support the recovery sectors such as health, agriculture and education.”

Also present at the symposium was Zimbabwe’s former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and current Ambassador to South Africa, David Hamadziripi.