SA, Lesotho to ease borders
Shaun Benton22 June 2007
South Africa and Lesotho have signed an agreement to ease restrictions on the cross-border movement of their people.
Addressing the media following discussions with South African President Thabo Mebki in Cape Town this week, Lesotho Prime Minister Phakalitha Mosisili said the agreement made complete sense, as his country was "South Africa-locked".
Mbeki said he expected the agreement to drastically reduce the long queues currently visible at border posts between the two countries.
The two countries also signed agreements on cooperation in correctional services, managing wild fires and other forestry management issues.
Mbeki said the "Mountain Kingdom" was an important source of water for South Africa, with the two countries collaborating on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.
Other projects involving SA and Lesotho include a geo-chemical mapping project and a hydrological project, as well as the development of the Sani Pass-Mokhotlong road as part of the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier project.
This road, and the construction of the Metolong Dam, are to be funded through the African Renaissance Fund, according to a commitment by South Africa.
There are also plans for a rail link joining the Northern Cape, Free State, Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal. The plans have since been adopted as an SADC/Nepad project.