Landlocked Zimbabwe to supply treated water to South Africa

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Cabinet in Zimbabwe has approved a proposal for the country’s water treatment plant in the border town of Beitbridge to sell water to the South African town of Musina in Limpopo, which has often experienced water supply challenges.

The two towns are divided by the land border between South Africa and Zimbabwe and are home to one of Africa’s busiest ports of entry, which is also used as the gateway from South Africa to the African continent.

A statement seen by IOL, presented at a post-Cabinet press briefing held on Tuesday by Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting, Dr Jenfan Muswere, highlighted that treated water will be channelled to the town of Musina.

”Cabinet approved the amendment to the agreement between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Zimbabwe on the supply of treated water from the Beitbridge water treatment works in Zimbabwe to Musina town, which was presented by the Minister of Skills Audit, Professor Paul Mavima, as the Acting Minister of Justice, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs,” Muswere said in the press briefing.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting, Dr Jenfan Muswere. Picture: @InfoMinZW / X

”The agreement will facilitate the transfer of treated water from Beitbridge Water Works in the Republic of Zimbabwe to Musina town in the Republic of South Africa at agreed terms and conditions and provide a framework for any such arrangements amongst the designated competent authorities.

”Benefits of this agreement include the following: improved water resources cooperation and governance; and improved livelihoods from the people of Zimbabwe due to the generation of much-needed foreign currency.”

Quoting Muswere, The Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe said, among other things, that the deal would further cement the strong friendly ties between the two neighbouring countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

The development comes a few months following the signing of a memorandum of understanding by Musina and Beitbridge to have a twinning arrangement, The Herald also reported.

The move paves the way for the two councils to cooperate on a number of areas aimed at stirring economic development on both sides of the border.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was received by President Emmerson Mnangagwa during a visit to Zimbabwe. File Picture: Siyabulela Duda / GCIS

Earlier this year, IOL reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the long delayed second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, aimed at boosting South Africa’s water and energy security.

This is a partnership between South Africa and neighbouring Lesotho dating back to a treaty agreed upon by the two governments to supply water to the Vaal River System, which ensures water security for Gauteng, the Free State, the Northern Cape, and the North West.

“The launch is a critical step on the journey to greater water and energy security for South Africans and Basotho and is a demonstration of the strong relations between the two countries,” the Presidency said in a statement at the time.