South Africa: On Monday, 09 January 2023, the Premier of the Free State province, Sefora Ntombela, held discussions with two delegates from neighbouring countries.
The meetings were held at Free State house, the Premier’s official residence in Bloemfontein, Mangaung, and were also attended by the Director General of the Free State Provincial Government, Kopung Ralikontsane and other officials.
The first meeting was between Premier Ntombela and Ntate Likhapa Sediane, the Consul-General of Lesotho in Johannesburg. That meeting was quickly followed by an engagement between Premier Ntombela and the ambassador of Angola to South Africa, Her Excellency Filomena Delgado.
The ambassador was accompanied by a delegation which included Colonel Tomas Marcos, Deputy Defense Attache, Councillor Eduardo Kondua and Celestiono Goncalves, Press Attache.
In their deliberations, what took centre stage was for the Free State province and the two respective countries to establish relationships which would benefit the citizens of the respective countries.
In addition, Premier Ntombela and Consul General Sediane, in particular, agreed that greater focus must be placed on, among others:
• Cross border crime, especially in regard to stock theft
• Illegal miners
• Undocumented Basotho nationals in the Free State province.
Premier Ntombela said there were countless opportunities for the three countries for trade and other opportunities. Key amongst their discussions were the endless opportunities brought about by agriculture.
Premier Ntombela pledged to visit the two countries in the near future to strengthen the ties also to observe how they are able to optimize the commercial value of agriculture for the good of their citizens.
“Both Consul–General Sediane and Ambassador Delgado stressed the importance of agriculture in general and farming in particular. They informed us how in their respective countries, the agricultural sector is thriving. Our hope is to visit both Lesotho and Angola in the near future to observe how they are able to get it right so that we apply what we would have learnt to our province to once again make Free State the bread basket of the country,” said Premier Ntombela.