The President of South Africa, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa paid courtesy call on His Majesty King Letsie III upon his arrival on a Working Visit in the country on Thursday.

He also met with the Prime Minister, Dr Motsoahae Thabane to discuss issues relating bilateral relations between the two countries.

The President was accompanied by the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Minister of State Security, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, and the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Candith Mashego-Dlamini.

Upon arrival at the Moshoeshoe I international Airport in Maseru, he was welcomed on behalf of Lesotho government by the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology Chief Thesele Maseribane, Foreign Affairs and International Relations Minister, Mr. Lesego Makgothi as well as army and police officials.

As part of the visit, the President and the Prime Minister held a joint press briefing where they informed the media about progress made on Lesotho Reforms process.

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.

The structured bilateral relations between the two countries are conducted through the Joint Bilateral Commission for Cooperation (JBCC) which was established in 2001, and is convened at a Ministerial Level. In this regard, the Working Visit takes place in the context of strengthening bilateral, political, social and trade relations between the two countries.

Bilateral cooperation between South Africa and Lesotho spans a wide range of areas including, but not limited to, trade and investment, security, energy, transport, agriculture, tourism, water as well as environment.

President Ramaphosa was appointed the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) facilitator to Lesotho in September 2014 when he held the position of Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa.

After assuming the position of President of the Republic in 2018, President Ramaphosa appointed former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke to lead the SADC Facilitation Team to Lesotho.

President Ramaphosa is due to present a report on the facilitation process to the SADC Heads of State and Government in August 2019 in the United Republic of Tanzania where regional leaders will particularly assess progress in constitutional and security reforms in Lesotho.

Source: LENA 04/07/2019