SA Minister Visits Zim To Deliver Cyclone Idai Maize Meal

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Staff Reporter

SOUTH AFRICA’S International Relations and Co-operation Minister Naledi Pandor is set to visit the country soon on a philanthropic mission of handing over some food aid for the local needy.

According to the neighbouring country’s department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco), the food consignment comprises some maize meal meant to assist locals who were affected by severe flooding linked to Cyclone Idai in 2019.

“(Zimbabwe President) Emmerson Mnangagwa will receive the consignment on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe at the State House in Harare,” Dirco spokesman Clayson Monyela said in a statement.

He said South Africa had in March 2019 responded to an appeal from the Zimbabwe government for humanitarian assistance in response to infrastructure destruction and the loss of human life from severe flooding triggered by the cyclone.

South Africa, through the African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund (ARF), pledged R50 million (US$3.6 million) in support. The Covid-19 global pandemic however hampered activation of the response.

“The assistance consists 450,000 bags of 12.5 kg maize meal, to be distributed to the affected families. The outbreak of the Covid-19 delayed the implementation of the project, which will now be completed by September 2021,” said Monyela.

Cyclone Idai was one of the worst tropical cyclones to affect Africa and the southern hemisphere. Storms wrecked havoc in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. More than 1,000 people were reportedly killed, the majority in Mozambique.

On Friday, Pandor hosted her Zimbabwean counterpart, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Frederick Shava in Cape Town. Monyela said at the time Shava was on a working visit to South Africa.

“The visit by Minister Shava takes place against the historical and fraternal bonds between South Africa and Zimbabwe, which were cemented during the period of the struggle for liberation against colonialism and apartheid,” he said.