Ramaphosa calls for cooperation on energy with neighbouring Mozambique




President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Durban – With South Africa gripped by an energy crisis, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday said that South Africa was keen to expand cooperation with neighbouring Mozambique in the energy sector, given that Mozambique was endowed with “significant volumes of natural gas”.

Ramaphosa was speaking during the plenary session of the third South Africa/Mozambique Bi-National Commission, alongside Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi, in Tshwane where he said that this cooperation would not only benefit the people of Mozambique and South Africa, but also the rest of the SADC region.

“Energy security is vital to economic growth in our respective countries, and we look forward to significant progress towards securing and sustaining our energy needs. Our two countries share a common view on issues of peace, stability, economic development, regional and continental integration.

“We are both undertaking programmes to advance youth development, women’s empowerment, poverty alleviation and job creation. These are some of the concrete steps we are taking to realise the vision of the AU’s Agenda 2063 and to improve the lives of our people,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa’s comments on the need for energy in South Africa come a day after KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said that the problems of Eskom and the shortage of electricity undermined investment potential in the country.

South Africa is currently gripped by unprecedented levels of load shedding, which saw Eskom implementing stage 4 this week of the rolling blackouts, and Zikalala said that the electricity shortage was a serious bottleneck that undermined all efforts that they had put in place.

In Tshwane, Ramaphosa said that the two nations had weathered many difficulties in the past, and through their resilience they had emerged stronger, adding that the crisis the Mozambicans were confronting in Cabo Delgado, where there was an ongoing insurgency crisis, was no different.

“We will face it together, with the same determination, certain that the forces of democracy and peace will be victorious. Our countries share similar views on the need to reform the United Nations Security Council, to make it an organ that is representative and where the African continent can have a voice.

“South Africa fully supports Mozambique’s candidature for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council. Together with South Africa’s tenure in the AU Peace and Security Council, this will provide an opportunity for our countries to further cement cooperation between the two Councils, especially in the area of financing peace support operations,” Ramaphosa said.