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Ramaphosa reiterates call to lift Zimbabwe sanctions

by Staff reporter
28 Oct 2022 at 06:20hrs | Views
Sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe must be lifted urgently as they weaken Harare's economy, resulting in citizens migrating to neighbouring countries where they exert pressure on limited resources, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said yesterday.

He said this while responding to a question on the challenges of migration, during a joint media conference he held with visiting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro S√°nchez, after a closed meeting.

"(On) the issue of migration, I couldn't agree with Mr Sanchez more, to say we also see the issue of migration as an opportunity where countries can be supported," he said.

"The one issue we have often raised, which is another dynamic to this situation (of migration) is that of sanctions that have been applied, especially on our continent.

"Sanctions applied for example on Zimbabwe are having a negative impact not only on Zimbabwe's economy, but also on a number of countries in SADC.

"They are also having a negative impact on us (South Africa) because as the sanctions weaken Zimbabwe's economy, Zimbabweans are forced to migrate, and come to our own country and other countries in the sub-region. They flock to Botswana, they flock to South Africa, to Namibia, and then they exert enormous pressure on us."

President Ramaphosa said just like Spain, South Africa had always been open to inflows of people from various parts of the continent.

But with rising economic challenges in South Africa due to geopolitics, resulting in growing cases of unemployment and inequalities, President Ramaphosa said the pressure becomes greater when a neighbouring country is slapped with illegal sanctions and its economy is throttled.

He added that they become concerned when countries that are applying sanctions on others, continue to do so to "weaken those countries that are contributing migrants to other countries and (the sanctions imposers) are disinterested and they don't seem to care about the impact".

President Ramaphosa said while the countries imposing sanctions claim they are targeted at certain individuals and certain countries, "the impact is much broader than that".

"So we are saying those sanctions should be lifted and we should be able to bolster the economies of these countries so that people can have less of an incentive to leave their countries to go to other countries because their economies would be glowing.

"So, once again, we call on the various countries that have applied sanctions on African countries, particularly on Zimbabwe, to lift those sanctions so that the economy of that country can get back on its feet and it can be what it used to be. In that way, Zimbabweans who have left Zimbabwe will find great incentive to go back to live normal lives in their country," said President Ramaphosa.

On October 25, SADC Chairperson, who is also DRC President Felix Tshisekedi, also called for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West.

President Tshisekedi also said classifying the sanctions as targeted was ridiculous as they have far-reaching implications on the economy.

He added that the sanctions were handing opposition parties an unfair advantage over the ruling Zanu-PF, as Zimbabwe heads towards the 2023 harmonised general election, due to economic difficulties.

In his address during the 366th session of the Zanu-PF politburo on Wednesday, President Mnangagwa praised SADC and the rest of the progressive world who continue to call for the lifting of illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.

However, the President said with or without sanctions, the Zanu-PF Government will continue to explore ways of developing the country.

At the moment, various infrastructure development projects are at different stages of completion as the Government resolved to use internal resources to repair or construct new roads and dams, while friendly countries can still chip in with support.

Source - The Herald