Ramaphosa, King Mswati III to meet for bilateral talks in eSwatini

King Mswati III.  (File, AFP)
King Mswati III. (File, AFP)

President Cyril Ramaphosa is leading a delegation of South African officials on a working visit to neighbouring eSwatini on Sunday for bilateral discussions between the two countries, the presidency said. 

Ramaphosa will be accompanied by Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Lindiwe Sisulu and Minister of State Security Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba for the meeting with King Mswati III.

Presidency spokesperson Khusela Dikso said a Joint Bilateral Commission for Co-operation (JBCC) was established in December 2004, and is convened at a ministerial level.

South Africa is eSwatini's largest trading partner, with total bilateral trade totalling R33.4b in 2017, and imports from there reaching R16.2b.

Diko explained that the two countries have signed 21 bilateral agreements which serve as legal instruments for co-operation in areas such as cross-border movement of people and goods, trade and investment, health, defence and policing, among others.

The country changed its name from Swaziland in 2018 and its current name was announced as a break from its colonial past. It means "land of the Swazis".

In his budget speech on February 27 Finance Minister Neal Rijkenberg revealed that the landlocked country is going through a rough financial period which could be affected by problems in the global economy. 

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